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Alex Breitinger column: Cattle weights clipped by storms

7:28 PM, Mar. 1, 2013
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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Severe winter storms continued this week across the Great Plains, with cold weather expected to slash animal weights.

Severe weather can stress cattle, causing them to eat less and lose weight; some reports showed animals as much as 100 pounds lighter due to the storms. This reduction in weights translated to a smaller supply of cattle and helped push prices higher.

Meanwhile, Washington remained deadlocked on the issue of budget cuts, which is expected to lead to "rolling furloughs" for USDA meat inspectors, potentially shuttering meatpacking plants. Although the precise impact is ...

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