In this file:


·         It’s So Cold on the Plains That Calves’ Ears Are Falling Off

·         Texas livestock industry reels from storm, outages




It’s So Cold on the Plains That Calves’ Ears Are Falling Off


o   Farmers are resorting to anything to keep their animals alive

o   Pantyhose over the head, ears taped, but some can’t be saved


By Michael Hirtzer, Isis Almeida, and Kim Chipman, Bloomberg

February 17, 2021


In Arkansas, ranchers are fitting pantyhose over the heads of calves in a desperate attempt to keep them warm. In Montana, they’ve been duct-taping calves’ ears to their necks to stop them from falling off. In Oklahoma, newborns arrived onto snow-packed frozen ground and perished while ranchers were reportedly sticking the hardest-hit animals in the front seat of pickup trucks and even inside their homes.


Across the American Plains, South and Southwest, the unprecedented cold of this past week has been brutal on millions of residents. For the flora and fauna -- as well as those who make their living cultivating them -- it’s been equally disastrous, a Darwinian mix of outlandish and gruesome.


“It’s survival of the fittest right now,” said Tyler Beaver, a founder of brokerage Beaf Cattle Co. in Arkansas. “Lot of hay having to be put out on a daily basis just to keep the cows warm enough to not freeze to death.”


Scores of broiler houses, where chickens are raised, were without power. In Mississippi, four broiler houses were destroyed from collapsed roofs overwhelmed by snow and ice...


... Beef packers including Cargill Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. were forced to shut down meat plants due to energy constraints...


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Texas livestock industry reels from storm, outages

Exposure and frozen pipes threaten cattle; dairy farmers are forced to dump milk after plant shutdowns


By Jacob Bunge, The Wall Street Journal

via Fox Business - Feb 17, 2021


Bitter cold and power outages have created a crisis for some Texan farms and ranches, leaving livestock dead from exposure and raising fears that herds could run short of food and water.


Forced shutdowns of plants that process milk and make animal feed are disrupting the state’s agricultural supply chains, industry executives said. Some farmers are being forced to dump tankers of milk on fields because it can’t be processed, and state agriculture officials feared livestock may have to be euthanized if they cannot be watered and fed.


“No feed, no water, and no heat doesn’t make for a good situation,” said Sid Miller, Texas agriculture commissioner. Mr. Miller on Tuesday said he was urging state utilities to restore electricity to rural areas—some of which he said had gone without power for more than 30 hours straight—while fielding calls from cattlemen losing calves to the cold and poultry farmers struggling with frozen water pipes...


... For Brad Cotton, who raises cattle near Floresville, Texas, the main challenge has been keeping his herd watered. Texan cattle aren’t accustomed to snow and don’t instinctively recognize it as a source of moisture, Mr. Cotton said, leaving him swinging a sledgehammer to break up the 2- to 3-inch ice crusting over his water troughs. On Monday, he hopped on a four-wheeler to drive a newborn calf out of the cold to a barn while its mother hurriedly followed...


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