Cattle Kill Very High in S.Dakota, Storm Plus Chaos in U.S. Food Policy
October 8, 2013 • 7:47PM

The cattle death toll in western South Dakota, from the blizzard last week, is estimated to range from 5-10% in some areas, to over 20% on hard-hit ranches. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture cannot even compile an accurate figure for total death loss, because of the severity of the situation, and the shutdown of Federal agencies from the chaos in Washington. Ranchers are seeking help of all kinds, including carcass disposal. Beefmagazine.com reports details today, including stricken counties in Nebraska and northwest Iowa.

Cattle will try and seek shelter in a storm, but the sudden blizzard of wet, heavy snow hit with terrible consequences.

Yesterday, the National Farmers Union issued a statement, "Over the past few days, Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming and other areas have seen record amounts of unseasonably early snowfall. With government agencies operating in limited capacity, the residents of these areas were lacking information, and saw delays in reports and warnings in order to be prepared for the extreme conditions experienced.

"Early estimates just in the state of South Dakota are showing losses of 15 to 20 percent of entire herds. We are operating with limited information, as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offices are not collecting or receiving data, however, this is an extremely concerning situation. Ranchers do not have access to assistance with the USDA Farm Service Agency offices closed; Livestock Indemnity Program benefits are not available; and other sources of support and information are unavailable..." The NFU appealed to Congress to act.

Nationwide, U.S. cattle numbers are dropping, with the biggest decreases in Texas and Oklahoma, connected with the drought. In recent years, some breeding stock were re-located to the Dakotas and elsewhere, because of availability of water. Now the storm havoc has hit these same regions.

Crop losses were also sustained in the Nebraska, South Dakota storm belt. South Dakota LaRouche PAC leader Ron Wiezcorek described the impact on the Oct. 5 LaRouche Show, pointing out that heads of sorghum iced up, corn ears dropped to the ground and sunflowers were hit, when frigid winds reached 70 mph.