Spring Grove farmer moving cattle to survive drought

Cows will move to a farm in Dodgeville

The heat is forcing some farmers to move their animals to greener pastures as a solution to the drought problem.

Spring Grove farmer Dick Cates will do this with his 65 steer Saturday morning.

“Within a half hour they’ll be back in another corral, give them time to settle down, get them used to the electric fence there. We let them out and hopefully they find more groceries than they’ve got here”

Cates said moving cattle is not uncommon.

He’ll truck his steer to a Dodgeville farm that he’ll lease as long as they’re there.

The grass is even greener farther North, Cates said.

It’s the ideal food source for his Angus and Jersey beef cows, rather than hay, which Cates said is getting very expensive.

“Every day we pray for rain and we do rain dances, but with one arm, it’s not working, and it was this bad the second part of 1988 and the early part of 1989 when we had cattle on this farm,” Cates said.

Cates can’t use his right arm because he recently had rotator cuff surgery.

He said it won’t stop him from helping with Saturday’s move.

The steer will stay at their new home until November when they’ll be put on a full hay diet, Cates said. A year later, they’ll go to market.  

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