Concerns of rising beef prices following historic flooding

Published: Apr. 11, 2019 at 8:54 PM CDT
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Nebraska has suffered heavy agricultural damage due to flooding. North Dakota has been doing what it can to help.

Many are concerned the losses will impact the price of beef this summer.

Despite North Dakota's efforts to help feed Nebraska cattle by trucking hay south, the state is suffering tremendous losses.

"An estimated 1 million head of cattle perished in those historic floods," said Julie Ellingson, North Dakota Stockmen's Association.

Ellingson says it's too soon to tell exactly what the losses are.

"Those losses are across all kinds of different classes from adult cows, to small calves, to feeder cattle, everything in between, and so many factors play into those market reactions," she added.

Eugene Graner of Heartland Investors says the losses in Nebraska have caused the price of cattle to go up in the past month.

"The conversations on blogs are maybe a million head of cattle were lost in the floods. That's not likely, because in Nebraska alone there's about 7 million head of cattle, total and so a million head lost would be a dramatic loss of cattle, you would see it in every feed yard, a lot of the cattle did get out of the way. There are losses, but to quantify this is going to take the USDA probably July when we see our next semi annual herd," said Graner.

Graner says it's uncertain what the impact of the cattle losses will have on the price of beef this summer.

Ellingson says the North Dakota Stockmen's Association has put together the Nebraska in Need Disaster Relief Program to raise $10,000 for ranchers and farmers impacted by the flood.

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