Oklahoma Ranchers Face Challenge Of Cold Weather
TULSA, Oklahoma - As winter weather creeps toward Green Country, ranchers are preparing for the cold. They're optimistic but know that Oklahoma weather can change quickly.
Chad Wood is one of the more than 370 exhibitors at the Tulsa Farm Show bringing farmers and ranchers together over the next several days. At his farm in Big Cabin, Wood sells feed, hay and cattle.
"I think we are running about 150 mamma cows for registered Red Angus, and we sell bulls and heifers at our ranch," said Chad Wood of Wood Cattle Company.
He says as a rancher, hearing about the cold weather makes him nervous. He says the cold not only makes the job more difficult, but it can also make hay prices more expensive.
"I already know right now hay prices have been pretty high so those could skyrocket, but luckily from what I've seen you can source your hay out to other states or somewhere that's not local here and still get - it but you just pay a lot more," he said.
If there is a shortage, storage containers can hold tons of feed. Waylon McKinney, general manager of Heavybilt Manufacturing Incorporated, says his company is 12 weeks behind on production of those containers and says some of that could be related to weather.
"If he's concerned about there being a shortage, well, he can store enough in that silo for one or two months or 50 percent of the winter that we are gonna have and have to fill it twice," said Waylon McKinney.
Wood says while cattle are fed a certain amount of feed everyday, they eat more hay when the temperatures drop. He says although there was a shortage of hay last summer when a drought hit, for the winter months he's optimistic.
"I think everyone will be alright," Chad Wood said. "It all depends on how much cold we get. To see some of the predictions, it could be a very bad winter."
Wood says luckily, if there is a shortage because of the weather, ranchers are generous people and tend to help out one another.