Agricultural scientists are warning Montana livestock producers to be on the lookout for a slender green plant that has killed at least four cows in Yellowstone County in a one-week period.
The Great Falls Tribune reports (http://gftrib.com/1TfgBs4 ) the cows were found to have eaten lethal amounts of the toxic plant known as Death Camas this past week. The plant also has a significant presence in Custer County, but no livestock deaths have been attributed to it there.
Scientists say the plant, which contains a steroidal toxin called Zygacine, is highly toxic in the spring due to warmer weather and moist soils.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Death Camas is a member of the lily family and can be found growing in pastures and fields from Texas to Alaska.