Wyoming Livestock Industry Hit Hard By Winter Weather
A letter has gone out to the U.S. Department of Agricultures’ Farm Service Agency (FSA) officials from Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah asking for help.
Temperatures and persistent snowfall have made it difficult for livestock across the region.
Moreover, the amount of plants available for livestock to eat has also been affected, said J.J. Goicoechea, director at the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
“If you’re a grazing permit this time of the year, a lot of those winter permits were snowed over early,” Goicoechea said. “And then none of that vegetation was showing through, especially as that snow continued to accumulate.” (Wyoming Public Media).
Supplies were already low due to a 3-year drought.
It's good news that the drought cycle is coming to an end, and wetter weather has returned.
But it's returned in such a way that what food is out there for grazing is covered.
Temperatures have been colder than average and at times downright arctic. It's been hard on even the hardiest animal.
“The stockpiled hay sources and forage that normally you would be eating this time of the year was short because of the ongoing drought,” said Goicoechea, noting livestock feed has surged in demand and costs.
The letter to the USDA, asks the agency for help with feed.
“We are asking for any flexibility and innovative ideas from the FSA perspective that could expand eligibility and use of emergency programs to provide relief,” officials wrote. “Assistance with supplemental feed/water and locations to move livestock for grazing/feeding are needed urgently.”
The FSA has not responded, yet.