South Dakota Livestock Doing Well Despite Drought
SIOUX FALLS - Livestock are doing well in most areas of South Dakota despite drought-reduced feed and stock water supplies.
The Agriculture Department says in its latest crop and weather report that feed supplies are rated only 47 percent adequate to surplus, compared to 99 percent last year at this time. Stock water supplies are rated only 44 percent adequate, and about two-thirds of the state's pastures and ranges are rated in poor or very poor condition.
But cattle conditions in South Dakota are still rated 75 percent good to excellent, and 78 percent of sheep are in those categories.
The state's winter wheat crop is rated only 29 percent fair to good, due to a lack of soil moisture as winter ends.
Meanwhile, South Dakota feedlots with capacities of 1,000 or more animals had 230,000 cattle on feed on March 1, down 12 percent from last year.
The Agriculture Department says in its latest report that placements in feedlots during February totaled 45,000 head, down 4 percent.
Marketings of fed cattle during the month totaled 39,000 head, down 13 percent from 2012.
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