At least 2,000 cattle deaths occurred in the southwestern part of Kansas as high temperatures, humidity, and low winds made it difficult for the cows to stay cool, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Communications Director, Matt Lara, told CNN.
Lara said the number of deaths is representative of the facilities that have contacted the department to assist with the disposal of carcasses.
An unusual weather event last weekend, where areas of southwestern Kansas saw a 10 to 14-degree increase in temperature and an increase in humidity almost overnight Friday into Saturday, with little wind and lows only falling to around 70 degrees throughout the night-time hours, caused heat stress issues in some cattle in the region, Scarlett Hagins with the Kansas Livestock Association told CNN.
According to Hagins, the sudden change did not allow cattle to acclimate as quickly as needed. “Heat stress is a concern this time of year and producers make every effort to mitigate the situation prior to an extreme heat event by making sure extra water is available, altering feeding schedules and rations if needed, and implementing sprinkler systems,” she said.