Cold Spring temperatures are putting grazing on hold

Cattle producers want to put their cattle out to pasture next month, but some are little worried about the conditions.

“There is no green grass there. You need the green grass to make sure you have protein and energy going into these cows,” said Dr. Kris Ringwall, Director of  NDSU/Dickinson Research Extension Center.

Ringwall would like to see the cattle grazing in the field in the next few weeks, but Mother Nature just isn’t cooperating.

“The cows will lose weight.  . .the calves will lose weight. They won’t gain weight if the nutrition and the forage in the pastures aren’t there”.

Ringwall said he is still optimistic the fields can rebound in the coming weeks.

“We have the moisture now which is good. We just need the temperature to warm up to get the grass growing”.

If the pasture’s don’t start turning green come May, the ranch will have to continue feeding the cattle hay.

“We are paying about $120 dollars a bale . . .It’s costly, because you are feeding cows that could be out in pasture. That is more dollars going into those cattle,” said Garry Ottmar, ranch manager for NDSU/Dickinson Research Extension Center.

Ringwall said the research center’s cattle go through about 400 bales of hay a month, and if the pastures don’t start producing adequate forage for the cattle to feed on, they might have to sell some cattle early this year.

Hopefully Mother Nature starts warming up come May.

The Dickinson/NDSU Research Center’s ranch in Manning has about 500 cattle and 2,500 acres of land for them to graze on. 

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