On July 31, the USDA Agricultural Research Service posted an article by Ann Perry summarizing a series of studies done by USDA scientists showing the strong links between cattle production and weather. For example, scientists found that in the period 1975-2012, two-thirds of the cow-calf production was due to seasonal variations from weather, with increases in production in wet winters and springs (such as we might get in the Southeast in an El Nino winter). In a separate study, scientists found that cool, wet springs and warm, wet summers increased beef production at moderate and heavy stocking rates, with no strong weather effects seen for light stocking, but that cattle production became more sensitive to seasonal weather fluctuations after the invasive Kentucky bluegrass arrived. You can read the article by clicking here. Thanks to David Schmidt of the AnimalAgClimateChange blog for posting commentary on this at https://animalagclimatechange.org/did-we-not-know-this/.
Bloomberg also noted (as reported in AgWeb) that increases in rainfall and lusher pastures in central parts of the country (but not Texas) are leading producers to consider expanding their herds to take advantage of abundant forage and cheaper grain prices. You can read that story by clicking here.