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Cattle feeding industry also impacted by the snow storm

Photo courtesy Kansas Livestock Association

It’s estimated as much as 75 percent of the nation’s cattle on feed were impacted by the weekend snow storm in the High Plains.

Garden City, Kansas cattle feeder Lee Reeve says the conditions on Sunday were “as bad as I’ve ever seen”.

“It was just horrendous,” Reeve tells Brownfield. “We had eight to ten inches—some places more snow than that—and 50 to 60 mile per hour winds. You couldn’t see. You couldn’t take care of your cattle. You just couldn’t do anything.”

Reeve says they had some death loss, but it was worse elsewhere.

“We feed mostly bigger cattle and we lost about 40 head out of about 43,000,” he says. “I have a friend that has an 80,000 head feedyard and he has a lot more high risk cattle. He said he’s lost, he thinks, over a 1,000 so far.”

Reeve says the longer-term impact will be weight loss.

“Just in talking around, kind of the consensus is we’ve probably lost about 35 pounds per head, on all the cattle that are ready for slaughter—and that will tail off through time as the cattle have more time to recover and it will be a smaller impact.”

Reeve says rain also fell before and after the storm. Feedlots are very muddy, which will also hamper cattle performance.

Reeve is the president-elect of the Kansas Livestock Association.

AUDIO: Lee Reeve

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