Mild winter has been a friend to new calves
Most western Montana cattle ranchers are nearing the end of calving season.
The mild winter has been a friend.
Now, with most of their new animals on the ground, ranchers will keep watching the weather to predict fall prices.
At the historic Ruffatto family ranch near Stevensville, brothers Tom and Cliff Ruffatto figure about 70% of their cows have calved.
The brothers will calve almost 600 of the young animals.
They've had 5 sets of twins.
"This was a good year," said Tom Ruffatto. "The weather was really good."
Running cattle here for close to 100 years, generations of this family learned that no ranch is an island.
Cattle prices have been good the past few years, although the brothers see that they have faded some.
"Because everybody's worried about the drought in the Midwest," said Tom.
It could drive corn and grain prices higher.
"Last year they were already trying to contract cattle," said Cliff Ruffatto,"this year it's been a little different."
Cliff said people are waiting to see what happens with the moisture in the Midwest.
He said cattle numbers are in the producer's favor.
"There's a million less cattle in the United States,"said Cliff,"people have high hopes the market will stay up."