Local cattle impacted by last week’s freeze

Published: Feb. 28, 2021 at 6:13 PM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The agriculture industry is at the mercy of mother nature, and last week’s freeze showed those effects.

Calcasieu Parish Extension Agent for the LSU AgCenter Jimmy Meaux explained the sugarcane crop was most affected by the freeze. Though here in Southwest Louisiana, that’s not much of an issue due to the lack of sugarcane being grown here, but crawfish and cattle are a completely different story.

“Mainly the impact was to the cattle farmers in our area - was probably the biggest impact. And probably crawfish is suffering a little bit now too.”

Cattleman Michael Stevens says in the peak of calving season, that’s the largest concern during a freeze.

“She [the mother cow] won’t know to lick it, or she won’t lick it quick enough to stimulate it to get up and nurse. And you know, it probably doesn’t take very long, maybe 30 minutes to an hour, in that very cold weather and that wind chill, to not make it - to die.”

Young calves can be saved if they’re found in time. Though, in comparison to farmers that suffered colder temperatures across the state and Texas, he feels lucky.

“I feel fortunate, because this is primetime calving season. You know, I could’ve lost more.”

Though Meaux explains, the freeze will have some positive impacts for farmers later on.

“The extent of this freeze was just really horrible for livestock owners you know. For planting rice or crop farmers, it’s probably going to be beneficial. It may slow the insect population down for them.”

Stevens lost three calves as a result of this freeze.

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