Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

Ranchers face tough decisions about herd sizes following another year in drought


November 9, 2022

Another year of drought has prompted tough decisions for ranchers as they decide how many cattle they can feed over the winter.

Last year’s drought forced many Montana ranchers to reduce their herd sizes because of challenging growing conditions and the high cost of hay. This year, similar conditions have dampened hopes of rebuilding herds in some parts of the state — leading agricultural economists to highlight considerations for ranchers as the days grow colder.

From 2021 to 2022, Montana saw a reduction in its cattle inventory by 250,000 head — nearly 10% of the state’s cattle. O...

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