State's Ranchers Working to Protect Cattle from Heat

JONESBORO, AR - Arkansas cattle producers have been working to protect their livestock from the extreme heat that has baked Arkansas the past couple of weeks.

Craighead County Extension Agent Eric Grant says ranchers need to provide plenty of water, food and shade.  Grant says providing cool water helps keep the cows' internal temperature within normal limits.

Pastureland has been harmed in the heat wave, leaving some ranchers no choice but to feed hay to their livestock.

Extension Service Beef Cattle Specialist Tom Troxel says many producers have started to sell cattle.  Troxel says it may be a good move for ranchers to sell non-pregnant or old cows.  He says cull prices are good and the move could help stretch limited forage and avoid having to use expensive hay.

The early growing season was good for hay, and Troxel says many farmers have plenty of hay for the winter.  But Grant says hay supplies could tighten if too many ranchers start using hay in August.

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