Winter storm Elliott is bringing strong winds, snow, and freezing temperatures across the United States this Christmas weekend. As of December 23, 60% of the U.S. population was under some level of winter weather advisory and forecasters report temperatures from the Intermountain West to the Plains could fall as low as -70°F which could have a catastrophic impact on livestock.
According to Mintec sources ranchers are increasing checks on livestock facing the harsh conditions and meat companies such as Tyson Foods have reduced their operations at some meat facilities in Chicago, Illinois. Tyson Foods declined to comment.
Additionally, several Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) grain facilities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, and Indiana had early closures as wheat farmers are concerned the frigid temperatures may damage or kill dormant crops lacking a protective layer of snow. ADM was unavailable for comment.
To make matters worse, input costs such as fertilizer and diesel have increased by 57% and 40% respectively since the beginning of the year, according to Mintec Analytics. The cold temperatures will also lead to increased energy usage and potentially push already high energy prices up further. The Mintec Analytics platform is already showing that heating oil increasing by 31% since the beginning of the year.