BISMARCK – Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is encouraging livestock producers to make sure they are providing enough high quality feed to their animals.

“Pasture growth will likely be delayed and quality grass may not be available until later in the spring because of the amount of snow on the ground and the harsh winter we have experienced so far,” Goehring said. “Producers need to focus on quality, not just quantity, in their feed rations to ensure that their animals maintain proper body condition as winter continues and stored feed may run short.”

Dr. Beth Carlson, deputy state veterinarian, said pregnant cattle and horses especially need to be on a high plane of nutrition at the end of pregnancy and in early lactation.

“Lactating animals that are not receiving a balanced ration will be unable to produce high quality milk and their offspring will be more susceptible to illness and extreme weather conditions,” she said.

Goehring said ensuring proper feed is more than just good animal husbandry, it is important for the industry's image.

“The opposition to animal agriculture is well-funded and growing,” he said. “We don't want to inadvertently provide them with ammunition for their propaganda.”