Like most of the West, we're feeling the pain of drought. It's not the first and won't be the last, yet its still tough knowing that many of these cows will need to be sold. But we'll continue on. And for a few minutes enjoy the joys of a beautiful sunset.
The grass is almost non-existent after months of severe drought. With just a couple of inches of snow all winter, cattle kick up dust when they come in for hay. Sterling Brown and his finance Katie Bivens, whose completing her studies for a doctorate in ruminant nutrition, have crafted a solid nutrition program to make sure the cows are ready for calving. We purchased our hay several months ago at what seemed high priced, but has proved to be a great move. We’d have to pay much more now for forage of lower quality. We have a few early calves on the ground out of our Irish Black® bulls, with the big season starting May 1.
We're getting wet, heavy snow along with plenty of wind at the ranch. The weather predictions gave us a few days warning so we had livestock in natural protection, with the most vulnerable close to the barns. It’s the first blizzard since spring 2021. We’re all excited about the moisture, hoping there will be enough for some runoff into dams and creeks. Maybe we’ll have a bit of early summer grazing. But the system stalls out and after 3 full days of a full-force blizzard, we’re all worried about what the cattle got through. As soon as he could, Sterling was out and found that the herd came through with the loss of only 1 older cow.
Second blizzard of April 2022 - what's constant for weeks now is the high wind. One day its sunny and 60 degrees but the next its hovering around freezing (but about 0 with wind chills) and we're in another blizzard. We had more than 2.00 inches of rain Friday evening/night (April 22) then the snow and blizzard started early Saturday morning. As of Sunday, morning we've had 12-15 inches of heavy, wet snow.
Our Long Pines ranch offers several areas of great natural protection and Sterling Brown got the cattle settled in about the best spot possible yesterday. Very thankful for the moisture absolutely! Could have used a lot less wind. We'll have high winds for several more hours. The first blizzard about a week ago was rough enough on our community. This one on top of it will be nothing short of devastating for so many of our friends and neighbors.