Recent weather events have caused a number of impacts on livestock in the Southeast. Here are a couple of recent news stories about some of the impacts.
Earlier this week National Public Radio ran a story about the effects of both drought and flood on Texas cattle ranchers. The whipsaw from drought to the recently flooding, enhanced yesterday by Tropical Storm Bill, makes it difficult to manage their herds and provide pasture while navigating destruction of infrastructure like fences. Standing water increases the chance of pests and infections of the feet as well. You can listen to the story and read about it at http://www.npr.org/2015/06/09/412236562/texas-cattle-ranchers-whipsawed-between-drought-and-deluge.
Estimates of losses from dairy alone in California are now projected to reach $250 million (about a 3% reduction) according to AgWeb in a story earlier in June. The dairy industry generates more farm revenue than any other farm commodity in California. The losses are due to increased forage prices as well as more culling of cows than usual, but other factors unrelated to climate are also affecting the losses.
Growing Georgia published an article earlier this month on the adverse impacts of the recent heat in the Southeast on calf immunity. Heat-stressed cows provide less antibodies which pass to the calves in their milk, increasing their risk of infections and impeding healthy growth. Excess heat also increases bacterial growth, which can also increase diseases that affect the cattle.