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Carcasses of some of the 40 calves that Rockville farmer-cattleman Richard Panowicz lost in last week’s Middle Loup River flood are collected Friday in a bucket attachment on a tractor. Panowicz is also contending with pastures covered in sand.

ROCKVILLE, Neb. — Sherman County farmer-cattleman Richard Panowicz knows nothing will ever be the same after this month’s winter cyclone triggered a flood on the Middle Loup River less than a half-mile from his back door.

The river has changed course.

The hay and silage to feed his cattle are soaked after sitting in 3 to 4 feet of water.

Sand now covers much of the pastureland he uses to graze his herd of commercial Angus cows and purebred Charolais bulls.

And 40 of his recently born calves died in the flood.

“I’ll probably sell the (remaining) cows and calves and get out of the cattle business,” said Panowicz, 65. “I’ve been around cows since the early 1970s.”

That’s when he milked cows on a family farm near Poole in Buffalo County.