Friday, January 18, 2013

Worst snow drought in six years will hit cattle and hog producers the hardest, experts say

National snow cover is at only 22 percent, the least since 2007. This snow drought in much of the U.S. is likely to have impacts on the cattle and hog industries this year, according to industry analysts. The lack of snow is affecting already beleaguered agriculture operations that were hit hard by last summer's intense drought, Chris Scott of Meatingplace reports. The Department of Agriculture designated 597 counties in states with grazing seasons as snow-drought disaster areas.

The concern for cattle and hog producers focuses on winter wheat and conditions for the upcoming corn-planting season, Scott reports. The cattle industry isn't suffering impacts from snow drought yet, but Oklahoma State University livestock marketing specialist Derrell Peel told Scott it will likely be forced into "immediate liquidation mode" if the drought continues into mid-March. University of Missouri agricultural economist Ron Plain told Scott hog producers should be worried about how the snow drought will affect feed supplies. (Read more)

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