“As Many As A Million Calves Lost In Nebraska” – Beef Prices In The U.S. To Escalate Dramatically In The Coming Months

by | Mar 28, 2019 | Headline News | 51 comments

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    This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse

    According to Agriculture Secretary Sunny Purdue, there “may be as many as a million calves lost in Nebraska” due to the catastrophic flooding that has hit the state.  This is not a rumor, this is not an exaggeration, and this is not based on any sort of speculation.  This number comes to us directly from the top agriculture official in the entire country, and it means that the economic toll from the recent floods is far greater than most of us had anticipated.  You can watch Purdue make this quote on Fox Business right here, and it is important to remember that this number is just for one state.  It is hard to imagine what the final numbers will look like when the livestock losses for all of the states affected by the flooding are tallied up.  This is already the worst agricultural disaster in modern American history, and the National Weather Service is telling us that there will be more catastrophic flooding throughout the middle portion of the nation for the next two months.

    Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts says that this is the worst flooding that his state has ever experienced.  Ricketts originally told us that 65 out of the 93 counties in his state have declared a state of emergency, but that number has now risen to 74.  Hundreds of millions of dollars of damage has been done in his state alone, and that is just an initial estimate.

    It deeply offends me that the big mainstream news channels have spent so little time covering this disaster.  This is the biggest news story of 2019 so far by a very wide margin, but because it happened in the middle of the country they are not giving it the attention that it deserves.

    In the short-term, food prices will not rise too dramatically because the stores are selling the food that has already been produced.  But as the months roll along, you will start to notice food prices steadily increase.  Millions of bushels of wheat, corn and soybeans have been destroyed by the flooding so far, and thousands of farmers will not be able to plant crops at all this year.  And the livestock losses that we have already experienced will be felt for many years to come.

    Beef will never be lower in price than it is right now.  So if you are a beef lover, you may want to stock up.

    When the flooding initially came, it happened so fast that many farmers were powerless to do anything about it.  In Sherman County, farmer Richard Panowicz says that ice and debris were “exploding from the river”

    “Within 15 minutes it was devastation,” Panowicz said, with water, ice and debris exploding from the river with nothing to stop it.

    He described some ice chunks as 3 feet thick and the size of an extended-cab pickup.

    Panowicz said a lot of the dead calves he’s picked up have had broken legs. Many of the carcasses were found by neighbors.

    In other cases, farmers were faced with a heartbreaking choice between saving their animals or saving their neighbors.  One farmer that rushed to help his neighbors ended up losing 30 calves to the floodwaters

    Before Mahon could think about his animals, he needed to help his neighbors. As the water rose, he rescued one with his tractor, the floodwater lifting it up and spinning him 180 degrees. He helped save three more people — including an 85-year-old woman and a 9-month-old baby — with a boat, he said.

    Then he could start counting his losses. He estimated the flood carried away 30 calves and almost as many cows, nearly $50,000 out of his pocket. It might be more.

    Can you imagine the grief that these farming families are enduring right now?

    Many of them are financially ruined and will never be able to go back to farming again.

    Dave Eaton’s family has been farming the same plot of land for 152 years.  But now the Missouri River has swallowed his farm, and with much more flooding still to come, he anticipates that his farm with be underwater “all year”

    The farm has been in his family 152 years. He was born there. He’s been thinking about what he’s learned about the Missouri’s upstream reservoirs and the mountain snowpack, and what it means for his land.

    “It’s not like I’m new to the area,” he said. “My gut feeling is we’re going to be under water all year.”

    And he is definitely not the only one that has had his year ruined.

    Panowicz says that the hay and silage that were meant to feed his cattle this season were soaked “in 3 to 4 feet of water”

    The hay and silage to feed his cattle are soaked after sitting in 3 to 4 feet of water.

    Sand now covers much of the pastureland he uses to graze his herd of commercial Angus cows and purebred Charolais bulls.

    And 40 of his recently born calves died in the flood.

    So what is he supposed to do?

    Some Nebraska ranchers will bravely try to rebuild, but for Panowicz it appears that the end has come

    “I’ll probably sell the (remaining) cows and calves and get out of the cattle business,” said Panowicz, 65. “I’ve been around cows since the early 1970s.”

    I could go on and on, but I think that you get the point.

    America’s farmers have been utterly devastated.  America’s cattle producers have been utterly devastated.  Food production is going to be way, way below expectations, and food prices are going to escalate dramatically in the coming months.  This is the kind of scenario that I have been warning about, and this crisis is going to continue to get worse as all the snow from one of the snowiest winters on record melts.  In Minnesota, there are still more than 20 inches of snow on the ground in some places, and all of that water has to go somewhere.

    This is the biggest national crisis that has hit the United States in many years, but the mainstream media and millions of Americans that do not live in the affected areas still do not seem to get it.

    Of course once food prices start getting painfully high at our supermarkets everyone will start complaining, but there will not be any easy solutions.

    GetPreparedNow-MichaelSnyderBarbaraFixMichael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

    Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

    If you want to know what is coming and what you can do to prepare, read his latest book [amazon text=Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming & How You Can Survive It&asin=150522599X].


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      1. That SUCKS! Sounds like weather warfare on farmers and ranchers. Flood them out and buy up the land dirt cheap (like in the depression). Same game, different weapons. I can always get beef from my local rancher friends.

        • The country fields here in Central N FL are filled with cattle and lots of mothers and calves. They separate the Steers. In TX all they got is steers and queers. lol

          They flood the fields to make everybody buy flood insurance. The place where I moved from in Tampa was just realigned with the FIRM FEMA Flood Maps and not include so much more so the Insurance Co’s can collect a bigger pot of profits.

          I saw that scam coming years ago and sold my house a block from the bay 4 yrs ago and moved to higher ground. Was at 8 Ft above sea level now 45+ above..

          • Meat CSA shares are still low for locally raised grass fed beef. Lock in a price now and stock up all year while supporting local farmers!!!!!! 😀

          • Chuckling, I once read an article that said the highest point in central Florida was the top of Space Mountain at Disney World.

            Truth is you only need to be one foot above the high flood level, and you are golden in any flood disaster, or have a home that can float……

            To be serious, this may be a good time to watch for sales on meat, and stock up.

            The kids bought me a food vacuum sealer for Christmas a year or three ago. Meat vacuum sealed, extends freezer time from months to a year or more.

            I’ve never had a bad steak that I vacuum sealed, regardless of how old it was, a year is my record so far. If I just bagged in zip locks, often it freezer burned in a couple months.

      2. There’s still a lot of beef being raised in other areas, so maybe the price won’t get too high. lol…burger already runs around 4 bucks a pound for 93% ground sirloin around here. Good thing I still got some mountain beef left in the freezer and canned up.

        • We don’t eat much beef, more often pork, hogs were killed also, watch for rising prices on them too. Folks cut your meat portions and eat more veggies, yaaay! Horrible for the farmers, many will give it up or move elsewhere. My g’father went thru H during the dust bowl in the mid west. Died shortly before I was born. Lost all his cattle.

          • Look’s like they will have to MOOOOOOOOOVE on!

      3. Guys, this is “weather warfare” if you will and don’t you all see – they are going to try to starve our asses out!!!! Think about it and look at the big picture.

        • You got that right, concerned-citizen.

          This is weather manipulation to the nth degree.

          Forget about cow farts causing global weather changes. Look at the sky and those aerosols being sprayed by thousands of airplanes every day.

          The masses run around screaming about climate change, believing what they are being inculcated to believe because they no longer have critical thinking skills. Their electronic devices have sucked out their ability to think, period.

          Useful idiots.

          • Right ON TARGET!

        • RIGHT ON TARGET … geoengineeringwatch.com

        • China has been bragging about how they have been manipulating weather to make it rain in the desert.

          If China is really doing this, what is the effect on US weather down wind?

          We are all connected.

      4. Lots and lots of beefs here in the Gunshine state. Since someone developed a breed of cattle that tolerates the high heat/humidity cattle is being raised all across the South.

        If not, well there is always Gator tail and plenty of fish in the Everglades. Also y’all got dem hogs too.

        • FYI , not everything is a conspiracy

        • Seminole wind: We use to be Fla. crackers now Ala. crackers. Some of cattle mentioned bred here also. I’m more of a turkey and chicken fan, eat cod from the N. Atlantic, since the gulf is contaminated and many seafood places are gone from decades back. We lived in the panhandle. Good memories from the ’70’s, 80’s eating in these places on the beach or in town. Lots of friends then, most now dec. Oyster bars unsafe, if any left.

      5. I live in the Great North, plenty of ground hog, raccoon, dog fish, pigeons and other meat proteins to round out a diet. And that doesn’t even count stuff you can buy at the store like chicken, fish and pork!

      6. On food stamps/SNAP..? new law: you cant buy beef, pork, chicken, pizza, pop, shrimp, burritos, fritos, cookies, etc…you are only allowed to buy potatoes, milk, bread, beans, veggies, fruit, butter, etcc….only staples.
        Better yet…..you don’t get food stamps anymore, you fat disgusting lazy PIGS.!!!!!

        • Not true. Our daughters have food stamps because of mental deficiencies ($40 per month) and they can buy meat, pork, chicken, etc.

      7. Even here in Hawaii, we will be affected. We produce a lot of beef, but not enough to satisfy state needs. Most our cattle are shipped to the mainland as “feeders” to be fattened in feedlots.
        Twisted Hawaiian economics. Ranchers make more profit shipping cattle to the mainland rather than selling and processing the cattle locally. Local produced hamburger is ~$4 per pound and mainland hamburger is ~$3.50 per pound, this last week.

        • Rellik
          The local ranches send their feeders to the mainland because they get a better price for them, my dad and a few other old timers started that back in the late 80s after they got sick of the local packing houses and markets screwing them, it just made better sense to sell feeders on the hoof and call it macaroni than it did to feed them up here snd take them to the slaughter house then get jacked by the markets wanting to pay them pennies, like monsanto and the corn the local ranchers can get year round calf crop so they can provide feeders when the midwest cant…

          • Nail,
            I know a few ranchers so I know what you are talking about. I worked with one guy that used to make the wood stalls inside the 747 aircraft that were used to ship feeders to the mainland. Hard to believe that air freighting cattle made better money than dealing with local packing houses, but hey this is Hawaii.
            Full disclosure; I have a 1200# steer ready for the freezer, I just need a slot at the local processor, for slaughter, hang, cut, and wrap. That is well over a years worth of beef for me and the wife.

            • rellik

              How much meat do you get out of a 1200 lb steer?

              • K2,
                The amount of meat is hard to answer. Historically my cattle had hanging weights of 7-8 hundred pounds. Typically hanging weight is 60 -70 percent of live weight depending on breed. I typically have Angus-Charolais mix, although I did raise some Holsteins once. My cattle get BIG! and I usually let them get older than what professional ranchers do before I harvest. My feed is virtually free as they are grass fed. I buy COB to give them treats and make them easier to handle maybe #100 per year. I gave the Holsteins, left over old beer once in a while, They were lushes!
                I keep meat and mix the fat trim into the hamburger. My old processor kept the hide as part of their processing fee.
                In the past I haven’t asked for Heart, tongue, liver, tripe, bones or hooves, but my next Harvest, I will.
                I think the charges for cut and wrap are now $0.90 per pound.
                I don’t know if this helps.

              • When I process a beef we get about 60% of the live weight in meat. Much of the weight is bones ,hide entrals and things like peckers and lips that we prefer not to eat. The slaughter plants process almost everything. the grind the bones into bone meal , the bone marrow, spinal cord, brains tounge, intestines lungs and other offal is made into hot dogs and stuff like spam. The hooves and horns used in glue. Even the blood is captured at the processing plants. On a hog a home processor will lose 1/3. Most local processors tend to cheat their customers. they sometimes steal some of the meat. They get the hide and internals for free. and they do have a ready market for that. Local processors could pay you to let them butcher your animal. We process all our own meat. Its one of those things that gives you know how and makes you Self Reliant.(Quote I just need a shot at the local processor) Remember this a Self Reliant Person who has Know How. Never has to wait on the time and pleasure of others to get things done.

            • Rellik
              We only air freighted stuff like purebread bulls we bought up on the mainland, or horses,
              The feeders got shipped up in special containers, sure you have seen em, 40’ ers with grates on the sides, usually double deckers, had a guy that would go with to feed, water, make sure the animals were ok, it was quite the leap when they first started, most of them went to a big feedlot in the central valley somewhere in Cali, it was way better $, you would never figure that but even today its far more profitable, the ranches here on Maui still ship, and im pretty sure Parker and a few others on the big island do as well.

              • Nail,
                I’ve seen the containers in Kawaihae, never in Hilo.
                Yes most Big island ranches ship the feeders out.
                But a lot stays here and are processed for the resorts
                and local stores. We could probably be self sufficient
                if it were necessary eg SHTF.
                Don’t know about Maui county.
                Screw Oahu let them eat tourists, although
                I’ve read they might start the old packing
                house back up.

                • Rellik
                  We could definitely be self sufficient,
                  The biggest problem will be the hundreds of thousands of tourist,
                  What to do with them?
                  IF it was just the regular full time residents, no problem,
                  But when you think about the hundred thousand tourist and foreign nationals on Oahu any given day and the tens of thousands on the outer islands its questionable,
                  The second biggest issue will be the government, state level as well as county, these people are ignorant, they see us as the piggy bank with no bottom, for them i see 4GWF as the only solution, sad but true,,,

      8. I call bullshit.

        These are all river overflow floods.

        Are there really 1 million baby calves along the river’s edge?

        Of course not.

        This is just a federal money grab.

        • You might be on to something. I am a little skeptical myself. Open to the truth mind you but by nature I am a little guarded.

      9. Israel has a program to have beef steer shipped from the USA. More like a convenient cover story to explain why the price of beef is going up. Yes, some beef has been lost in the floods, but also, some has been shipped to Israel and probably as a charitable gesture, without paying for it or paying less than Americans would.


        • I’d send (((them))) road kill. Watch (((them))) fight over that free stuff.

        • Rabbits make meat and fur.

          Rabbits, chickens, and goats are nice pets for adults and children. Add dogs and cats.

          Where I live, the taxes are less on land with cattle.

          Local beef is plentiful and less expensive than in other States. Hopefully beef prices will remain stable.


          • I read a story quite recently about smallholds in merry old England. The blogger who is a smallholder keeps quail saying that they are very easy to keep and actually like smaller spaces such as a repurposed rabbit hutch (which they breed like too) which makes gathering their eggs super simple. Anyone here know if this can be done here in the USA? Might be an interesting option for those still in small city spaces.

        • Nazi

        • I will gladly pay for Israeli beef.
          Long live Israel. ??

      10. we just put half a cow in the freezer

        we have plenty 🙂

      11. Eat mor Chikin.

      12. My herd’s good, every single one pregnant and due April 15th. Had one born in March, one month early, survived and doing well. No problems here.

      13. Not worried don’t live in those shithole cities not surrounding areas. Live close to paradise.

      14. Note from the real world, the price of beef is already sky high, we took beef off the menu years ago, burgers once a week, ribeye once a month. A couple decades ago when beef was high you’d see cattle on every half decent piece of grass in Texas, but prices on the hoof are to low to profit now, the price of steak is no longer linked to the supply of steers. Don’t understand this, but know it to be true.

        • The NWO cult wants to control what everybody else eats. That’s why they are slowly taking over the food supply and promoting vegetarianism and test-tube grown meat.

      15. most finish weights are between 35 and 40% of hanging weight. A lot depends on the animal and finishing feeds.

      16. If it comes down to it in SHTF nuclear apocalypse I’ll roast those greedy politicians in a pit on my front lawn. Never tried human meat. Hope I never have to but in the worst case scenario politicians and Wells Fargo bankers are going to be grilled first.

      17. The trade war with China caused the farmers to be storing more grain than usual in their silos. This will be bad for Trump politically. Food prices and gasoline prices are going up at the same time. For an American public which lives paycheck to paycheck, with little cash reserves, and deep in debt; things are going to get really tight. Unfortunately, the flooding will work to benefit the Democrats politically.

      18. I’ve been thinking about reducing my red meat consumption and increasing my vegetable consumption for some time now (my doctor might have had something to do with giving me this idea). I guess this is as good a time as any to give it a try.

      19. The average American household will be spending an increasing percentage of its income on food and gasoline. The demand for other items will drop accordingly. Quick way to a recession.

      20. attle are something I know about. yes a farmer losing animals is devastating to that farmer. However a million calves is a small number. Every Tuesday 5000 head of average weight 500 pound weaned calves are sold at the sale barn at West Plains Mo. Ok those calves are fed on by the buyers till about 850 pounds. then they go into the feed lots for finishing where they are fed things like the waste fron eantahol plants, and other by products till they weigh 1000 pounds. and then the go to slaughter. What will happen if there is a shortfall of feeder calves. The finishing Feed lots will feed those amimals till they weigh a final weight of 1250 pounds. Its pounds of beef that is marketed not heads of beef. All feeder calves and beef cattle are sold by the pound not by the head. Ok say a farmer lost 50% of his calves. He could just keep his calves longer and let them eat the grass that the lost calves would have consumed. He could keep them until they weighed the 850 pounds and sell them directly to the finish feed lot. My point is even if the number of head of cattle is reduced. the same pounds of beef products will most likely still be produced and marketed.

      21. We only have two cows. they are dairy beef crosses. We do milk them. Don’t have a bull. Don’t need one. The neighbors have bulls. When my cows come in heat they get bred. There aint no fence gonna stop a 1000 pound bull when they is ready and willing pussy on the other side.

      22. Here are some facts to maybe help some of you understand the magnitude of what happened. The million calves is not just from the flooding. while the eastern side of the state was hit with massive flooding the West side was hit with a blizzard and hurricane force wind. They called this a bomb cyclone. Really??? Never heard of that before. Nebraska is 91 percent farm ground. Two-thirds is experiencing some form of disaster. It is number 2 in beef production and ethanol production. It supplies almost 30 percent of America’s beef. Everyone in American who eats and drives will feel this one. And that is just the obvious items.

      23. Yeah and in Australia, there are dead, rotting cattle as well… and tens of thousands of dead fish— all because of the weather!! (104 degree weather!!) the lakes are drying up and have tons of algae which is killing thousands of fish– fishermen holding dead fish and crying– and fruit bats falling from the trees, dead!!!


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