Drought putting even more pressure on cattle producers


Drought putting even more pressure on cattle producers

Drought conditions are expanding, and a livestock economist says that could mean trouble for many cattle producers.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says pastures in parts of cattle country are burning up from the lack of rainfall. “When you take the top 30 beef cow states and you look at the percentage of land in D1 or worse drought conditions, it rivals 2012,” he says. 

He tells Brownfield the drought is forcing many cow/calf producers to make some very tough decisions.  “Even though I might be saying cattle prices are going to get really good in 2023/2024, how do these folks cope with the thought they can’t keep their current her because they don’t have enough hay or pasture to get through the current year,” he says. 

While the cattle market outlook is relatively positive for prices in 2023 and into 2024, Brown says it’s never good when cattle producers are seeing the potential for record prices when producers are facing the decision to reduce their herds.

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