Lack of snow has sheep and beef producer concerned

A sheep producer worries about the lack of snow cover this winter, and if that means a third straight dry summer. 

Caleb Langworthy raises grass-fed sheep and beef near Wheeler, in northwestern Wisconsin.  He tells Brownfield the small amount of snow means his pastures have very little moisture to start the growing season. “We’re already looking at pastures that are starting to turn green again, and I’m wondering if there’s going to be enough pasture out there to support my flock and herd coming into this year.”

Langworthy says the farm has sandy soils, and without consistent moisture, his family will be, as he put it, “in a world of hurt this year.” He says, “We’re down to about 150 ewes, so beyond that, I’m not quite sure exactly how much we can cull and still have a viable farm business.”

Langworthy says he’s already had two years of culling less-productive animals to lower feed costs, and the culling and management decisions are getting very difficult.

Langworthy spoke to Brownfield during the recent Marbleseed Organic conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Audio: Caleb Langworthy discusses drought concerns with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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