Farmer shares concerns with livestock in rising heat

Local livestock dealing with the extreme heat
Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 6:29 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ill. (KFVS) - Across the nation, many have been dealing with high temperatures reaching in the upper 90′s and even triple digits.

Animals are also dealing with the high heat as well across the Midwest and in the Heartland.

Some farmers have even lost their livestock in the region because of this hot weather, which local farmers are trying to avoid.

We talked with Tyler Rich, a fourth-generation farmer from Jonesboro who said the heat has a dangerous impact on the animals, which can lead to a heavy toll on the farmers.

“Overall, the heat does impact the overall health of livestock,” Rich said. “You know it does. It takes a toll on them. They do have ways to adapt to it, but you know, as farmers, we try to come up with new ideas and new ways to help the livestock out as well. We do the best we can with the resources God has given us.”

Rich said he is constantly trying to find new ways to adapt to the heat to keep his animals cool and healthy, such as feeding them summertime minerals.

“They’re out there grazing and gaining weight like they should be,” Rich said. “You know when they’re not out there grazing, they’re not gaining weight. And when they aren’t gaining weight, they’re not staying as healthy, and when they’re not staying healthy. And when they’re not staying healthy and eating, there aren’t producing as much milk to grow that calf. It’s very important that we do that to raise a good healthy calf.”

Another challenge Rich said they face is making adjustments to provide enough water for the animals.

“That well does not have a very large water supply, so whenever it gets really hot in the summertime, that well can’t keep up with the water needs of the cattle,” Rich said. ”So, we’ve actually been hauling water from another farm up to that place to supply the cattle with enough water every day.”

Temperatures are forecasted to return to the high 90′s and lower 100′s for the upcoming week.

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