Recent rain not enough to reset livestock demand

“It’s going to take another one right behind it here to do a lot of good, to do any good at all.”
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 6:37 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A weekend of rain rolled through the Magic Valley, leaving behind more moisture than the area had seen in quite a long time, a welcome sight for struggling agriculture farmers.

“Anytime we see rain in the agriculture industry it brightens our mood,” said Cameron Mulroney of Idaho Cattle Association. “We live and die by the weather that is given to us in the dry lands’ range conditions. Anytime we get moisture it puts a smile on our face.”

But was it enough to make up for the extreme dryness of the spring and summer? Experts say, not so fast.

“That really dry March and April had an extreme effect on our long-term outlook,” Ben Brandt of Idaho Power said, “because it was so dry for so long.”

For local livestock farmers, the rainfall is always a welcome sight, but following such a dry, hot season, this just isn’t enough.

“It’s going to take another one right behind it here to do a lot of good, to do any good at all,” said Bruce Billington of Twin Falls Livestock Commission. “The creeks did not pick up, the springs didn’t pick up. But it did wash the dirt off the grass, tenderize it. It did help.”

According to Billington, the biggest impact of the recent rains may be to the grazing grounds, where enough moisture was able to soak into the soil to allow small amounts of grass growth.

“It got the grass started a little bit,” Billington said. “I just came off the hill and the grass is probably a couple of inches tall because I got a little rain the week before. And this week, yeah we got a little grass started again.”

The rain that Billington says is needed isn’t yet on the horizon, but Mulroney believes in the industry’s ability to pull through.

“Cattle producers are resilient,” said Mulroney, “we’re going to continue to provide high-quality protein across the United States and the world.”

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