Winter Storm Could Take Further Toll On Dwindling Texas Cattle Herd

AMARILLO (February 25, 2013)--The blizzard that left parts of West Texas in a whiteout Monday could further diminish a cattle herd already at a 60-year low.

The National Weather Service says more than a foot of snow will fall Monday on parts of the Panhandle and snowfall totals could reach 18 inches in some places.

Flights were cancelled, roads were impassable and some schools were closed.

Amarillo rancher Jay O'Brien said the blizzard could prove deadly for cattle out grazing in pastures, particularly calves born in recent days.

Gusts of more than 50 miles per hour will push animals into fenced corners where they could suffocate in snow drifts.

He said says cattle in feedlots can lose as much as 40 pounds in a a such storms.

The nation's cattle herd is already at its lowest number since 1952.

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