With roughly 50% of Texas counties reporting in, the death toll for beef cattle is over 500 head and climbing. Andy Vestal, a professor with Texas A&M’s Texas Agrilife Extension Service, says herd deaths are only a slice of the pain ranchers are in for.
“The most expensive part of the losses probably are the forages, because that’s the feed, that’s the resource that we use. The sunlight, and the soil, and the moisture, and the nutrients in the soil produce feed for these animals, and that resource is gone for this growing season.”
The fires have also consumed well over 1100 miles of fence.
“And we expect that to triple, possibly, once we get our satellite imagery in.”
Texas Agrilife Extension is collecting donations of hay and feed supplies.