Nebraska Flooding Unlikely to Stop Cattle Herd Growth

Herd Size and the Markets
Cattle herd. ( Sara Brown )

Livestock producers are still adding up the totals when it comes to losses they suffered in the last month's flooding. Tyne Morgan recently sat down with Don Close, an animal protein analyst with Rabo AgriFinance, on AgDay TV for insights as to what that means for supply and demand. 

"It sounds like there were more losses of new calves in the western half of the state with the blizzard side of that storm than there was from the flood damage," says Close. "There were more yearlings and fed cattle lost on the east side."

As the counts come in, Close expects a full picture to emerge. Part of that picture now includes recalculating the nation's herd size. 

"I still think that cattle inventory numbers are growing," says Close. "It's the growth we see from here that's going to be really, really flat."

That flattening curve is when compared to the last three years. He expects growth to continue but there are concerns beyond weather that could have an impact.

"If we were to really see a slowdown in the economy that could have some impact," says Close. "The counter side of that is this export picture looks so bright, particularly with the uncertainties around China that it looks like demand for global protein is going to be there."