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Guide to Flood Recovery for Beef Producers

Guide to Flood Recovery for Beef Producers

By Scout Nelson

Flood events pose significant challenges for beef producers. Being proactive and prepared can make a substantial difference in managing these situations. Here are crucial considerations for beef cattle safety and health following a flood:

Cattle Safety:
Ensuring that cattle have access to dry, elevated areas is paramount. If your cattle are in a flood-prone area, consider moving them in advance. After a flood, check and record the inventory and condition of your herd.

It's crucial to account for all animals, especially calves, as they are particularly vulnerable. Some cattle might require immediate care or, in severe cases, humane euthanasia due to injuries from debris.

Familiarize yourself with your state's livestock carcass disposal guidelines, such as the "Guidelines for Livestock Carcass Disposal in South Dakota."

Cattle Health and Nutrition:
Floods can compromise cattle health through stress and contaminated water sources. Ensure cattle have access to clean water, which may involve testing water sources for contaminants like bacteria and harmful chemicals.

Injured cattle may need additional care, such as tetanus boosters. Provide supplemental feed if pastures are unusable, and store feed in high, dry places to prevent spoilage. Do not use feeds that have been submerged or exposed to floodwaters without testing for safety and quality.

Infrastructure and Emergency Management
Inspect your property for damage to fences, feed bins, and manure storage areas. Floodwater can severely damage infrastructure, requiring repairs or complete replacements.

Report any incidents of manure runoff as required by local regulations and explore emergency management options for handling such runoff effectively.

Preparing for and responding to floods involves safeguarding not only your livestock but also the resources they depend on.

Implementing a flood plan and monitoring weather alerts can help reduce the impact of these environmental challenges. Remember, the safety of both the livestock and their caretakers should always be a priority during such events.

Photo Credit -gettyimages-pamwalker68

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Categories: South Dakota, Livestock, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle, Weather

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