Ranchers prepare for storm, welcome humidity


WATFORD CITY, ND (KFYR) – This is the moisture farmers and ranchers in North Dakota have been waiting for. Although this will not completely eliminate dry conditions, it will certainly help.

Even those who are in the middle of calving do not complain about the humidity.

It’s calving season at Scofield Ranch. This baby was born on Saturday, the first of about 140 on the way. Calving wasn’t expected to start here for a week.

“April 18 is the official start date, but it’s mother nature so more or less,” said Watford City breeder Chad Scofield.

Now Mother Nature has delivered another surprise. Scofield and his stepfather have spent the last few days preparing for this April blizzard.

“We moved the cows to protected pasture so they had as much cover as possible. And then we kind of double-fed them giving them a better sleeping area, plus some excess food to prepare for that,” he explained.

It’s a welcome humidity.

“We have been praying for snow and rain for two years now. So we can’t dictate when it comes I guess,” Scofield said.

“We need the humidity badly,” said Pete Best, who also owns a ranch near Watford City.

Best is halfway through her calving season.

“We will have around 250 calves,” he said.

The calving season so far has been pretty easy.

“This won’t be easy. I mean, it’ll be getting up and checking in probably every two hours or they won’t if we’re not there,” Best said.

Best says it’s not the snow that worries him, but rather the wind.

The wind is always the real danger and in a blizzard the snow itself can be a challenge, but the wind is the real big risk,” he said.

Despite this risk, he is doing his best to stay positive.

“It seems like in these droughts it takes a big storm to finally break through them and get back to a more normal climate. And I’m optimistic that this is the start of something new for us,” Best said.

Best says two feet of snow will put them in a much better place than they were last spring. Scofield adds that anything that will fill dams and grow grass is a blessing.

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