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Lower Elk River Valley rancher Mary Kay Monger checks Monday on a cow about to give birth to her first calf later this month. Monger and her husband, Larry, are looking after about 170 mother cows during a challenging spring calving season.

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Weather deals hardship to Routt County ranchers, newborn calves

Spring calving season is the time of year ranchers in the Yampa Valley most look forward to. It’s the season of new life, when 2-week-old calves romp in the newly greening hay meadows. However, spring 2011 has been one of protracted winter, and the cold, wet storms that are expected to dominate the weather forecast for much of this week are taking a toll on calves.

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