Early snowstorm kills scores of western SD cattle

Early snowstorm devastates cattle herds; 1 estimate: At least 5 percent of western SD total

Associated Press

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) -- The director of an agricultural organization says more than 5 percent of the cattle in western South Dakota might have been killed from the wind and snow of a weekend storm.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Director Silvia Christen says she has talked with ranchers who have lost 20 percent to 50 percent of their cattle.

She says no firm estimate of total cattle losses has been made yet, but she fears the cost of the early autumn blizzard might top 5 percent of all the cattle in western South Dakota.

Christen says the storm not only killed calves that were due to be sold soon but also killed cows that would produce next year's calves. She says that means the storm will harm ranchers financially for a couple of years.

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