Producers and the decisions that come with historic drought

Some cattle producers say that historic drought in the Great Plains will force them to continue to make difficult decisions in 2023.

“You can’t get sentimental about the cows.  You have to get sentimental about the land.”

Nebraska Sandhills rancher Brenda Masek tells Brownfield she’s already sold off part of her herd and a recent wildfire has limited pasture growth. “Fires like that in the fall and winter where the forage has gone dormant, it doesn’t have a chance to comeback.  It looks like the 1930s.”

Steve Hanson says this is the second time he’s ever had to sell his calves early because of high feed costs. “Part of the story is the value of the calves.  They are worth around $1250 per head.  How are you going to add value to a $1250 calf when you’re feeding them $8 corn and $250 hay?”

He says he’s concerned that he will have to feed his cow herd next summer and would like to conserve his feed supplies.

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