Peel: Winter Storm Impacts Cattle, Cowboys and Markets


By Derrell Peel - Oklahoma State University

via Drovers - February 15, 2021


A massive and extended winter blast has engulfed the southern plains before spreading across much of the Delta and mid-south then ultimately affecting most of the eastern half of the country.


The extended cold temperatures began a week ago with most of Oklahoma already enduring continuous sub-freezing temperatures for 150 to over 200 hours as of Monday morning (February 15).?Temperatures in early week are reaching record sub-zero levels with wind chill values of -25 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.?


Temperatures are expected to remain below freezing for at least another 100 hours.?Snow totals of four to ten inches have accumulated with more snow expected mid-week.?This storm is unprecedented in Oklahoma due to both the record cold temperatures and the duration of cold. I抦 having flashbacks to my formative years caring for cattle in Montana winters.


The brunt of the storm impacts are directly borne by cattle producers who are struggling to provide water and feed access for cattle.?These conditions require near continuous efforts to chop ice and provide feed.?Cattle nutritional requirements are sharply boosted in this weather and producers must consider both the quantity and quality of feed.


Cattle will not be physically able to consume enough...