SD Storm Could Affect Beef Prices, Supply for Next Three Years

Updated: 10/18/2013 6:30 PM By: Katherine Johnson

Cow lies in the snow near Sturgis, S.D., after storm.
Cow lies in the snow near Sturgis, S.D., after storm.
Photo: Photo: Associated Press

The Minnesota Cattleman's Association says the storm this month in South Dakota that killed thousands of cattle will have a long-lasting impact on the meat market.

"They need to replace these females as soon as possible," said Dar Giess with the MN State Cattlemen's Association. "There will be less beef available right here in Minnesota."

Giess says we could feel the impact of South Dakota's early October blizzard on our beef prices for the next three years.

"There were 75 dead cows and 14 dead calves in the very pasture I stood in," he said.

Cattlemen are still counting their dead, but estimate as many as 20,000 head are lost so far.

"Those cows produce year after year and it's kind of the foundation for next year's crop and the future crops going forward."

The country needs breeders.  Although South Dakota only provides a fraction of the country's beef supply, those cattle ranches sell to farmers like Allison Van Der Wal. Her family makes a living fattening them up for harvest.

"We just buy cattle and then we will sell them again for market," said Van Der Wal.

So even though the beef may not come directly from South Dakota, the cow might.

"It hurts the whole industry, losing that many cows," said Van Der Wal.

The Minnesota Cattlemen's Association estimates there will be 1,350 fewer cows harvested for market each week for the next three years because of the storm.

To donate to the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association, click here.