State vet lowers estimated livestock losses from S.D. blizzard

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Early estimates of the number of cattle killed as a result of the blizzard last weekend reached upwards of 60,000 but an update by the state veterinarian pins the number under 20,000.

The blizzard affecting western South Dakota cut some cattle herds by up to 50 percent and early reports had losses near 60,000 head of cattle. According to the Capital Journal, State veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said Thursday the total confirmed cattle deaths is about 2,000 head, but he assesses losses will total between 10,000 and 20,000.

“Everybody wants to know the number, but truthfully we don’t know. We won’t know for some time,” Oedekoven said.

A fund has been established by state livestock groups to help cattle producers who have suffered great financial losses. The Livestock Indemnity Program expired with the 2008 Farm Bill on Oct. 1 and not all insurance agencies cover losses from freezing or smothering in a snowstorm.

A fund has been established for South Dakota producers, but Montana groups are asking its state’s ranchers, along with producers in Wyoming and Idaho, to donate production cattle and sheep to producers affected by the blizzard.

According to the Associated Press, the Citizens for Balanced Use and the Bar Quarter Circle Ranch are working with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association to organize tax-deductible donations.



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TX_Tumbleweed    
Texas  |  October, 11, 2013 at 05:39 PM

Gosh... Now who was that professor who was pontificating about the cattle feeding industry migrating back to the Dakotas a few weeks ago? This storm is precisely why cattle began to be trucked to Texas for fattening, pulling out of Nebraska, Kansas and the Dakotas in the 70s and 80s. While that blizzard was raging in SD last weekend, the Texas Panhandle enjoying temps in the high 70s. Corn can be railed in, but so far Mother Nature can't be controlled. Average daily gain is the name of the game...

Cole    
October, 12, 2013 at 08:51 PM

Lol, ouch...good comment!! But i will put my cost of gain against yours....also the name of the game. Liked your comment though!!


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