A cattle disaster after a blizzard slammed South Dakota last week has hit the state hard. CBS News reports Oct. 14 that about 100,000 head are reported dead after the animals died from freezing and exhaustion.
The cattle in Dakota were still grazing on summer grass when the blizzard disaster emerged with up to 70 mph winds and dropped up to 21 inches of snow. The cattle hadn't grown their protective winter coats yet and eventually collapsed from the storm. The Dakota cattle loss could be as high as $1.25 million dollars. Typically ranchers turn to federal aid in such a crisis, but the government shutdown has eliminated that option for now.
The cattle disaster has resulted in the animals' carcasses being disposed of in large burial pits located in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Networks have aired the Dakota storm aftermath and viewers could see the thousands of dead cattle laying in the fields following the blizzard.
Several Dakota ranchers have been hit with significant cattle loss. Donations for sheep and cattle have been requested to help them recover. Some may never fully get back what they lost. Some ranchers have lost as much as $250,000 or more from the cattle disaster following the unexpected blizzard.
Ranchers can't report losses to the Agriculture Department since the offices are closed.
Despite the Dakota cattle loss, consumers won't see a huge rise in beef prices. North Dakota accounts for only part of the nation's beef supply, the report said.