Dry weather good for calving, bad for cows

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 5:14 PM CDT
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RYDER, N.D. – Calving season has arrived in North Dakota and ranchers said the weather is a double-edged sword.

Hansen Ranch has been around for generations, and Kevin Hansen said this is the driest year he’s seen since he took over.

The Hansens run the ranch and said the dry weather this year has been terrific for calving. It helps recent calves warm up.

“Haven’t had really any issues with anything. Weather’s been good for us, it’s been dry. Just been a really good calving year so far,” said Wyatt Hansen, rancher.

They’ve been averaging seven calves a day, and said they should have more than 300 by the start of May. However, Kevin said they need rain soon, or the dry weather will take its toll.

“In order for us to use some of the pastures that we’ve got we’re gonna have to install water tanks and pipelines, and those kinds of things, in order to utilize the grass out there cause there won’t be any runoff water in the sloughs or stock dams that we have,” said Kevin, rancher.

Kevin said he’s also concerned about feed for the cattle. If rain doesn’t come they may have to buy feed and bring it in.

“We need to have feed and we also have to have water for them to drink, and with those drying up and not being here we’re going to have a challenging year ahead of us,” said Kevin.

Kevin said they normally still have snow on the ground at this time of year.

He said the prices are looking better this year, and they just need some moisture to make it a good year.

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