BEEF Daily

Bring On The April Snow!


A winter snowstorm blasts the Plains; could this help turn around the drought?

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here; but wait, it’s April 10th. Shouldn’t spring be here? I was feeling optimistic last week and got out all of my flower pots and lawn furniture; we even had a bonfire one evening to enjoy the warm spring weather. But, it looks like my excitement about warmer days was a little premature because winter is back around here, and in full force.

With schools canceled in my area and local businesses closed for the day on Tuesday, my family and I had all the time in the world to watch the cattle yesterday. It was a must in a blizzard with white-out conditions, as we are still calving out the majority of our cowherd.

Typically, April is a great time for calving, although it can get a little wet and muddy. But, for the most part, the cows can calve outside, and the weather is warm enough that those calves do just fine. On days like today, however, it’s a whole different story.

Just when I was ready to pack away my winter boots, coveralls and face mask for the season, it looks like I’m going to need them. As the sleet and snow pelted my face while driving the four-wheeler around the field to check cows every hour yesterday, I couldn’t help but smile. Yes, smile. Now, before you call me a lunatic, hear me out.

We’ve hoped and prayed for some moisture, and we are finally getting it! After an unseasonably warm and open winter, we are extremely dry in my neck of the woods. It’s an odd thing to see dust flying on the gravel road in April. As our hay supply dwindles and the pastures in desperate need of a shot of moisture, I’m more than happy to see the snow pile up around here.

As one of my fellow cattle women on Facebook aptly wrote yesterday, “We are loving the moisture that this snow has in it. Maybe we will get some spring grass after all. They say more is coming. Bring it on!”

I couldn’t have said it better myself, and I’m certainly not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

How much snow or rain did you get yesterday with this winter storm? Is it still coming down today? Leave your reports in the comments section below.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 7

Brandi (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2013

We got a heap of rain last night and are supposed to get more sleet and snow this afternoon. Nasty weather? Yes. But it's moisture and our pasture and creek need it!

shaun evertson (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2013

Somewhere around 1.25 inches down here in the southwest Panhandle of Nebraska. We're calving too. Had to warm one newborn calf in the bathtub but everything else did quite well. Where are those animal rights folks in the middle of a blizzard, and where is the posting of a secret cell phone video of a ranch mom gently reviving a hypothermic calf in her prized claw-foot bathtub?

Jenn (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2013

they say 7+ inches and counting. Only 1 calf born yesterday. I think the girls are waiting for better weather!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2013

Here in central Texas it was 90 degrees yesterday afternoon and now it has dropped to 40 degrees and it looks like we are going to miss the rain again. We need the rain to get our spring crops up. At least our cattle prices are still good.

on Apr 10, 2013

8 to 10 inches of wet snow here in central Montana.
Was down to 8 degrees Monday night with a little wind.

ozdoc (not verified)
on Apr 10, 2013

Melting the ice in the rain guage now. Looks like it will go to 1.5 in. There is a 1/2" of ice on every thing. Many trees are touching the ground due to the ice. McPherson, KS has had some moisture but this is welcome. Every drought starts with the last rain!! Every ranch needs more water and more corrals. Baxter and I think the major disease in America is "Popheous Ilaedes!

on Apr 11, 2013

Thanks for the reports. Hope everyone is doing okay in the storm. We are sure getting a lot of calves in this mess. I keep telling myself, "I love the moisture. I love the moisture. I love the moisture."

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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