Cattle producers from across the country have a bright outlook for the industry next year, with many eyeing crop harvest results to see where feed prices will settle.
Nebraska cattle producers are expecting corn prices to be cut in half, falling from $8 to $4 per bushel as yields improve compared to the 2012 drought. The Associated Press reports Nebraska’s agricultural sector lost $1 billion over the past two years, but is primed for a rebound.
“I think the good news is that 2014 is going to be a redeeming year at long last,” said market analyst John Harrington of Hastings. “It’s like coming out of the desert and finally finding an oasis. And we’re going to be making some pretty good money in 2014.”
Jeff Stolle of the Nebraska Cattlemen expects cheaper feed costs to lower, allowing a more affordable cost of gain which is sure to restock feedlots.
In addition to lower corn values, feeder cattle soared to a record high last week. Early-season severe storms caught cattle producers off guard, killing livestock which also affected the market in the week that followed.
Like South Dakota, northwestern Nebraska is also recovering from the blizzard responsible for thousands of cattle deaths. Nebraska Cattlemen Association’s Vice President of Member Services Melody Benjamin says producers are in the process of calculating losses, but the estimate is high.
The effects of the adverse weather will likely dampen the outlook of state cattle producers.
State Senator Al Davis said the baby calves lost in the storm will affect producers for several years. Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann told the Associated Press ranching is a huge contributor to the region’s economy and the losses incurred by cattlemen will impact the whole area.
Benjamin told WNAX cattle deaths are estimated to be between 1,500 and 3,000 head. She encourages local producers to keep accurate records in line with FSA document requirements.