Heat, humidity kills thousands of cattle in US, reports say

At least 2,000 cattle deaths have been reported due to heat and humidity in southwest Kansas.
At least 2,000 cattle deaths have been reported due to heat and humidity in southwest Kansas.(Searsie via canva)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 1:45 PM MST
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(Gray News) - Officials in Kansas say at least 2,000 cattle deaths have recently occurred in the southwestern part of the state due to high temperatures and humidity in the region.

CNN reports the unusually hot weather has made it difficult for the cows to stay cool, according to Matt Lara with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Scarlett Hagins with the Kansas Livestock Association said areas of southwestern Kansas saw a 10 to 14-degree increase in temperature with higher humidity almost overnight on June 11.

There was not a lot of wind, and low temperatures only fell to around 70 degrees, which caused heat stress issues in some cattle, according to Hagins.

Reuters reports the deaths have added pain to the U.S. cattle industry as producers have reduced herds due to drought and have grappled with climbing feed costs.

Kansas is reportedly the third-largest U.S. cattle state behind Texas and Nebraska, with more than 2.4 million cattle in feedlots.

The extreme heat is expected to continue in the region.

Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc., told Reuters that this weekend parts of western Kansas and the Texas panhandle would be near 110 degrees, but stronger winds and lower humidity levels will help.

Ranchers said they are providing cattle with extra water and checking their health during the heat wave.

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