Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Drought in western US forces ranchers to sell cows at fastest pace in decade

Severe drought conditions in the West are forcing ranchers to sell their cow herds at a pace not seen in a decade — a development that may cut beef prices in the near term but send them higher next year, analysts say.

Cattle ranchers in California, New Mexico and parts of Colorado have been particularly hard hit by drought-parched grasslands and are culling their herds, selling to ranchers further East or to feedlots where cattle are taken to be fattened up before they are slaughtered.

The most recent heatwave affecting 80% of the Western region brought the drought to a boiling point, according to America Farm Bureau Federation.

“We haven’t had this kind of movement of cows to market in a decade, since 2011, which was our last really big drought,” David Anderson, a professor of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M told CNN...MORE

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