Ranchers consider reducing cattle to cope with dry winter

Posted at 10:10 AM, Mar 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-09 12:12:11-05

Ranchers in northern Arizona are struggling with the effects of drought, leading some to consider reducing their cattle numbers.

The Arizona Daily Sun reports ranchers are attempting to mitigate dry conditions and prevent overgrazing by moving cattle and supplying supplemental feed as precipitation is not expected to replenish forage and fill water tanks.

Navajo Nation grazing officials are considering selling cattle before drought affects the animals.

Kit Metzger of the Flying M Ranch says it's possible the ranch may need to reduce herd numbers to align with available forage.

Metzger says it takes years for a ranch to recover from selling off animals. He says selling early could also crash cattle prices as ranchers across the state may need to reduce their herds at about the same time.