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Cattle farmers impacted by heat, inflation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Farmers and ranchers have not had it easy with inflation the past six months, and now summer heat is causing some to lose cattle.

A rancher in Kansas lost around 2,000 cattle due to a combination of weather conditions last week.

Garrett Hawkins with the Missouri Farm Bureau said a long dry period, summer heat and a sudden thunderstorm led to the perfect storm to cause stress on cattle.

As Mid-Missouri experiences a prolonged period of heat, cattle ranchers in the Show-Me State have to take precautions to protect their herds. Hawkins said ranchers know to check on their herds while they graze, make sure they have plenty of water and the correct supplements that prevent the cattle from getting too stressed.

"So just like us as humans, we are cautious during the heat, we need to take the same precautions for our livestock as well," Hawkins said.

The Peterson Farm Brothers, Kansas farmers, have been outspoken on social media about what led to the death of thousands of cattle.

"The animal health index going into this week was the worst it has been in 10-20 years," the Peterson brothers said in a YouTube video. "We knew that animals were susceptible, now on our farm we didn't lose cattle but that's cause we didn't have those heat bursts."

On top of the heat, Hawkins said farmers have to worry about the increasing price of supplies they need, such as fertilizer or fuel for tractors.

"We are paying double for fuel what we paid last summer," Hawkins said. "We are paying twice as much to drive across the field to mow hay, rake hay, plant hay or get the last bit of crop planted this year."

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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