Is it too early to worry a drought in the Plains will shrink the national herd? Could cattlemen see another massive drought like they saw in 2011 and 2012 when the national herd was forced to liquidize?
CattleFax predicts a cool start to planting and mild summer temperatures
Meteorologist Gail Martell provides her weather insight.
Beef producers should be making plans regarding their herds in case drought conditions continue, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
With the drought over, ranchers are preparing to expand U.S. herds that had shrunk to the smallest since 1952 and sent beef prices surging to records.
Higher prices anticipated in 2012 with analysts expecting the cattle cycle to post its high in 2013.
Beef cow numbers increased 510,000 head in the Jan. 1 report, which was about half the increase seen last year.
Lower beef production likely will keep calf prices high through at least 2015.