October 24, 2023

Persistent drought keeps growth of US beef cattle herds in check, says cattle industry official




The US beef cattle herd has been shrinking for several years, driven primarily by severe drought in cattle country.


Jeff Stolle, vice president of marketing with the Nebraska Cattlemen, said liquidation does appear to have slowed a little bit since January 1.


According to Stolle, drought conditions across the United States continue to keep a lid on possible expansion in most of the beef cattle herd.


"You got places down through Missouri into northern Arkansas, eastern Oklahoma, that part of the country that's gotten awfully dry again," he said. "You've got parts of Texas - there are more (mother) cows in Texas than any other state in the country, almost by two times versus the next largest – they’ve got serious drought concerns in part of that state again."


Even with drought still having affects on farmers and producers, Stolle noted that some parts of cattle country are seeing improvements in drought conditions.


"Over the last 12 months, we have seen a sharp appreciation in the value of calves and yearlings and some moderation in feed costs," he added. "Not a big change, but some moderation."

- norfolkneradio.com

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