Page 6 - MWC 2-24-2022s
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Cattle Cycle Scenario 1:                                                                  The Midwest Cattleman · February 24, 2022 · P6

      More and Worse Drought

      By Derrell Peel - Oklahoma State University

         The list of factors that will      Beyond cattle invento- that drought may persist in
      shape cattle markets in 2022  ries, current drought mea- regions of the west and north-
      is lengthy and leads to mul- surements and data on hay  ern plains that have been in
      tiple scenarios for cattle and  stocks indicate the general  drought (with some improve-
      beef industry outcomes for  forage situation in various  ment in the Pacific North-
      the coming year.  The recently  regions and high costs for  west), and where drought
      released USDA Cattle report  feed and other inputs must  has recently developed in
      confirms the cattle inventory  be balanced against higher  southern plains and perhaps                  or May this predominantly
      situation at the beginning of  and rising cattle prices.              expand even further into the      spring-born calving region
      the year and provides some            Drought will be the prin- central plains region.                  could  be faced with signifi-
                                                                                                              cant additional liquidation
      indications of what the cattle  cipal determinant of the                Drought      has    impacted
      industry would like to do in  general cattle industry sce- some regions since 2020.                     of cows or cow-calf pairs this
      the coming year…or at least  nario  in  2022.    The  current  Widespread drought in 2022               year on top of the 8.0 percent
      what might be possible in the  Climate Prediction Center  could result in much more                     herd liquidation in this re-
                                                                                                              gion since 2020.  This region
      coming year.                       drought outlook suggests  pronounced cow herd liqui-
                                                                            dation and relocation than        represents 15.1 percent of the
                                                                            previously and the scenar-        national beef cow herd.  The
                                                                            io will be all about what we      four-state region of Colorado,
                                                                            have to do.    There will be      New Mexico,  Arizona, and
                                                                            little flexibility in regions     Utah has suffered in drought
                                                                            that were in drought in 2020      conditions since 2020 and
                                                                            and 2021.  For example, De-       has seen an 11.6 percent beef
                                                                            cember 1 hay stocks in the        cow herd liquidation in the
                                                                            four-state region of Montana,     past two years.   Persistent
                                                                            Wyoming, North and South          drought will result in addi-
                                                                            Dakota were down 40.2 per-        tional liquidation this year.
                                                                            cent year over year.  By April                  continued on page 26
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