Drought Affecting Livestock Industry

By: Chris Whited Email
By: Chris Whited Email

A long drought in the southeast is having an impact on the livestock industry.

Jerry Nelson, the stockyard manager, said he's starting to see some signs of the drought's impact at the weekly cattle sales.

"This past week we did experience, I think, some effect in our market because people are scared to spend a lot of money on cows to take back home," Nelson said, "because of not having or seeing any rain in the future to grow any grass or produce any hay."

Nelson said, while some farmers are selling off and others are shying away from cows due to lack of grass, hay and surface water, the younger calves market is strong.

Most of the calves sold in the southeast end up out west and in the northwest where there is plenty of hay and water. Nelson says there was a scare back in April with word of a lower corn supply. He says the situation now can get better or worse depending on the weather.

"The drought is bad as I've ever seen, but the calf prices are as good as I've ever seen," said Nelson. "We're not experiencing bad calf prices yet. I can remember when the very best calf you brought to the market brought twenty-seven cents a pound, not $1.27."

He says, in the end, it's all supply and demand.

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