TWIN BROOKS, S.D. (KELO) — Most of South Dakota is experiencing drought to some degree.
Working with cattle is John Moes’ livelihood.
“Our operation we started 33 years ago from scratch. We started with 20 head of stock cows. Now we’re up to 300 head of stock cows, plus we got a feedlot,” Moes Feedlot owner & manager John Moes said.
He has pasture land near Twin Brooks.
“We’ve had probably 2-3 inches of rain up here since May in these pastures,” Moes said.
The pasture land was crunchy about three weeks ago, but recent rain has helped it green up some.
“This pasture should be about twice as high as this compared to what it is,” Moes said.
Several practices that Moes uses in his operation have been especially helpful during drought, including supplemental feeding for calves, rotational grazing, and cover crops.
“We had 66 acres of rye, just for example. We run 200 head of cows out there for the month of May, which help us let the pastures rest, which you can see on this one it’s not ate down,” Moes said.
On top of strategy and passion, hope and prayer help him stay strong in challenging times.
“The one up above has got all the say so. We just hope it all comes out in the long run,” Moes said.
Moes has taps in his pastures, but he knows of other ranchers in the northeast who have had to haul water in for their cattle.
In 2018, Moes Feedlot, headquartered near Florence, was honored for environmental stewardship.