cattle

A study from the University of Montana shows that when wolves attack cattle, it can cause calves to gain less weight.

Report co-author Derek Kellenberg says his team found that when wolves were simply in the area, there was no change in cattle weight, but that on ranches where there was a kill, the cows weighed less.

Kellenberg says skinnier cows are worth less, so ranchers can lose thousands of dollars.

But he says wolf predation was not the biggest factor affecting weight.

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After last year’s crushing drought, wetter weather is helping crops recover, and prices are dropping.
 

US corn yields are up, according to IHS, Inc., a company that publishes stock market industry data. The company expects corn and soybean prices to drop by 10 percent in the third-quarter of this year.


Brett Moline of the Wyoming Farm Bureau says that means it’s cheaper for feed lots to finish more cattle, which is good news for cattle ranchers. 

The number of cattle nationwide is at its lowest since the 1950s. Wyoming’s population is just under 1.3 million, down 5% from last year and the lowest since the early 1990s. Drought has caused many ranchers in the state to sell off cattle.

Executive Vice President of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Jim Magagna, says some older ranchers with smaller operations liquidated their herds altogether and he predicts those cattle will not be replaced for close to a decade.  

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Thanks to light snowpack and a dry spring, Wyoming is in the midst of a severe drought. Such dry conditions mean that much of the grass that covers Wyoming’s open spaces isn’t growing. Wyoming Public Radio’s Madison Williams reports that’s bad news for the state’s cattle ranchers, who depend on the grass to feed their livestock.

Wyoming ranchers and law enforcement officials are trying to work together to crack down on modern-day cattle rustlers.

Some ranchers say they've seen an increase in the number of livestock stolen in recent years. An average of 55 rustling cases are reported every year, but many ranchers don't report the thefts, thinking there's nothing they can do.