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Losing Without Warning

By   /  October 21, 2013  /  3 Comments

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Full disclosure time: I’m from the east. The west operates on a scale that seems kind of forei
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About the author

Author and editor emeritus

Rachel's interest in sustainable agriculture and grazing has deep roots in the soil. She's been following that passion around the world, working on an ancient Nabatean farm in the Negev, and with farmers in West Africa's Niger. After returning to the US, Rachel received her M.S. and Ph.D. in agronomy and soil science from the University of Maryland. For her doctoral research, Rachel spent 3 years working with Maryland dairy farmers using management intensive grazing. She then began her work with grass farmers, a source of joy and a journey of discovery.


  1. Joanna says:

    Numbers are unknown – particularly given the government shutdown during the tragedy, we will have to wait till all ranchers report losses (if they do). I believe those hit were primarily in western South Dakota. I have even heard reports of up to 50% of individual herds lost.

    And don’t forget about the horses. Those numbers may never truly be known.

  2. Carl Stafford says:

    Help me understand your math. 10 to 20% of 3.85 million head is different from the reported cattle death loss due to the Atlas storm.

    • Kathy Voth says:

      You’re right Carl, the numbers don’t make sense. We picked up the 10-20% numbers from the news reports, and then from our own curiosity, we checked out how many cattle are in the state according to U.S. census numbers. Right now some reports of losses are coming in at 30,000, and others are saying that some individual ranchers have lost 10-20% of their herds. I’m sure it will be some time before the exact magnitude of the loss is understood. We changed the article to note where we got the information.

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