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Spring Snowstorm Hurts U. S. Cattle

Cattle producers last week were digging out from a rare springtime blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow on March 28 and 29 that killed cattle and stressed others from the Texas panhandle to southwest Kansas.

Cattle feedlot operators worked long hours during the weekend clearing paths so that cattle could be fed.

Even then there were cattle deaths, as some animals succumbed to the storm’s strong winds and blowing snow. A Kansas feedlot estimated about 25 cattle died in the storm and a Texas feedlot operator estimated similar losses.

In addition, many cattle lost weight as blowing snow prevented them from eating. The weight loss may either delay cattle marketings or reduce beef production.

“Basically, none of the cattle ate for a 15-hour period,” said a feedlot manager in southwest Kansas.

In the Texas panhandle, four trucks loaded with cattle were halted by the weather and the cattle had to be unloaded and herded into open fields in order to survive the storm, said a Texas feedlot operator.

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