At least 2,000 cattle have died in recent days due to a heat wave baking Kansas, NBC News has reported.

What are the details?

Kansas, the third-largest cattle-producing state in the country, took a hit this week after high temperatures and humidity caused the cattle to die from heat-related distress.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said that the cattle deaths were also attributed to the lack of grain supply brought on by Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. According to Reuters report, Ukraine is one of the leading exporters of corn worldwide.

According to the report, the death toll estimate has come from facilities and farms that reached out to the agency for help in disposing of livestock carcasses, which may indicate that the final tally may be greater than 2,000.

Temperatures soared to at least 108 degrees in areas of Kansas this week, and meteorologists say that temperatures could climb to over 110 over the weekend. Over the last 30 days, the national drought tracker released at least two statements warning that regions of Kansas are facing drought or extreme drought conditions.

Agricultural meteorologist Drew Lerner told Reuters that the coming days will be “oppressively hot and stressful for the animals.”

CNBC quoted Brenda Masek, president of the industry association Nebraska Cattlemen, who said that ranchers need to be on their A-game in order to help cattle survive the oppressive summer heat.

“You can’t say, ‘Oh I checked them three days ago,’” Masek said. “When it gets hot, you’ve got be to out every day and making sure that their water is maintained.”

The Post added that the price of livestock has significantly risen across the country and pointed to a recent study that noted overall production in the U.S. is expected to decline 6.8% before the next century.

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