Natural disasters help create feed shortage for BC ranchers | The Canadian News

Between the heat dome, fires, and floods, it’s been a difficult year for many BC ranchers.

Those natural disasters continue to have an impact on the amount of feed available for Interior cattle.

For one North Okanagan ranch, Schweb Family Cattle, the summer of natural disasters created a host of challenges.

Read more:

Feed shortages reaching crisis levels for Canadian cattle producers

First, the ranch struggled to produce feed in the extreme heat.

“We found it extremely difficult because of the heat dome we would normally put up about 1800 round bails here… This year we were quite short,” said rancher owner Trudi Schweb.

Then their cattle, on a range near Logan Lake, had to be evacuated to escape the Tremont Creek Wildfire.

Story continues below advertisement

“They were happy, they were safe but it certainly was not the same as when they are out on grass and the calves are eating grass 24/7,” said Schweb.

“[Returning from the range early] definitely affected their weights… when we sold them this fall. Every pound counts for us so it was a pretty trying time, pretty scary. ”

All told, it meant a major cost increase as the ranch had to buy a lot more feed than usual. They’ve had government emergency support to pull through.

Read more:

Cattle stolen from Saskatchewan farmland valued around $ 100,000: RCMP

“The AgriRecovery [program] was a lifesaver for us financially, ”said Schweb.

The Schweb ranch is not alone in dealing with a shortage of feed.

The BC Cattlemen’s Association says it’s a widespread concern not just because of drought and wildfire but also this fall’s floods and supply chain issues.

Story continues below advertisement

“I think we are going to get through. It will depend an awful lot on how cold it gets for the remainder of the year and how long it lasts. If we get a long winter where they have to feed further out into the year it is going to really tax those supplies that we do have available, ”said Kevin Boon the association’s general manager.

The industry group says government support only goes so far.

“You can have all the dollars in the world if the feed is not there, the dollars are not going to do you any good,” Boon said.

Read more:

Sask. farmers coping with increased feed costs and adverse weather may face another cattle sell-off

The BC Cattlemen’s Association said some ranchers are having to sell off parts of their base heard.

“This is the one thing we really do not want and they do not want to do. They’ve got a lot of time and effort into the genetics, ”Boon said.

“This is a lifetime job to build a herd that works for your ranch.”

Back at the Schweb ranch they are closely watching their feed levels and hoping for a better summer ahead.

Story continues below advertisement

Click to play video: 'BC floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters'

BC floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters

BC floods: Farmers rescue cattle in Abbotsford flooding waters – Nov 17, 2021

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment