Though the moisture was welcomed in much of the parched region, cattle feeders in the southern Plains now face some operational hurdles in the mess a major moisture-bearing system left behind Sunday and Monday. Ranchers weaning calves all the way to large feedyard operators could see increased animal stress and health challenges as cold temperatures settle in on the trail of the early-week system. The “welcome to winter” weather system came after a three-month period of higher feedlot placements in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, with the Kansas leading the charge at 17% higher for the July-September period compared to the same time a year ago. Though feedlot performance may suffer because of the early winter blast, there’s room; feedlot performance has been strong, leading to heavier cattle weights compared to a year ago. Both steer and heifer carcass weights are expected to surpass the record levels seen in 2015. See more here.