Favorable winter weather is predicted for producers

Farmers in the plains have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving week!

They could finally get the much needed rain they have been praying for. Showers are expected today and tomorrow in the wheat growing parts of Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. The latest drought monitor shows dry conditions expanding in this portion of the country, so any precipitation they get right now is welcomed.

Another bright spot for wheat, that rare October ice storm in the southern plains. It was a game changer for the cattle markets closing auctions, but the moisture caused a sharp rebound.

Dr. Derrell Peel, OSU Extension Livestock Market Economist, says that this is all food news for cow-calf producers.

“The sharp bounce back in the markets is great for cow-calf producers selling calves. Auction volumes will probably be good through November and into early December,” according to Dr. Peel. “In fact, the volumes were low in October, I think, partly because producers were waiting/hoping for some better prices and we’re seeing those now.”

With additional COVID-19 concerns, and further restaurant restrictions, Peel says that we could have some beef demand challenges moving forward.

Looking ahead long-term, the winter will likely be colder and drier compared to the past few seasons. Based on data from the National Weather Service, USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says that there are some safe bets in terms of weather expectations.

Rippey states, “One fairly safe bet for this winter coming up for the continental United States is that it’s likely to be colder than what we saw a year ago. We had our sixth warmest winter on record in the winter of 2019-2020. It was also very wet, there was a top 20 wet winter as well.”

Rippey says that, with la nina, it is not uncommon to say that this year will be colder in the north and drier in the south.