Winter weather slams cattle country with snow, wind and bitter temperatures

A significant winter storm is moving across the heart of cattle country Thursday, and an ag meteorologist says it could have severe impacts on calving.

CattleFax Meteorologist Matt Makens tells Brownfield areas of the Great Plains and the Western Corn Belt could see 4 inches to a foot of snow. “Then you factor in the wind and the wind chill on a newborn calf could be 10 to 20 below (zero) in many cases, but the good news is the wind tapers off following the snow.”

He says regions that are known for livestock production are receiving the brunt of the system. “Eastern Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and northward are the biggest trouble spots have been from a cattle industry perspective.”

Makens says producers need to prepare for additional cold snaps through the next 6 to 8 weeks. “There’s going to be one coming in next week – Tuesday and Wednesday.  March, historically , if you look at similar years in the past, has produced some very cold weather. There are some hints of that developing now if to begin March.”

He says parts of Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas and Upper Midwest have received numerous amounts of snow, but it could be April before drought conditions improve.

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