Hard, snowy winter stressed stockgrowers across Wyoming

Mar 26, 2017 The Associated Press

POWELL (AP) -- The snowy winter caused challenges for some Wyoming livestock producers, who spent more time and money working to help their herds survive into spring.

"We've always had bad (winter) weather, but usually we have some good weather between storms. This winter, we could hardly get a break," said Regan Smith of Smith Farms, which raise sheep, cattle and crops northeast of Powell.

"It's just been a costly winter for extra labor, extra feed and extra energy -- propane and electricity," he said.

Smith said it was a constant struggle to make sure sheep and cattle were protected from the worst of the weather.

"When you have this kind of brutal weather, it takes more calories for them to survive.

," he told the Powell Tribune.

Adam George of George Farms said it took more work and expense to feed his cows, since they have to eat more to maintain their body heat when the weather is bitter cold.

"I remember one night, the cows wouldn't even come to the boxes to eat, it was so cold,' George said. "They wouldn't leave the windbreaks, so we drove feed out to them."

Other farmers were experiencing difficulties as well.

"I had a lot of people calling me for hay. Ranchers, their winter pastures got all covered, and (the cattle) couldn't get down to the grass," George said. "I referred them to everybody I know who had hay. Almost everyone sold it all."

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