Drought Leaves Farmers Asking “Where’s the Beef?”
Nationwide, consumers might be facing higher prices for beef, and they can blame it on the drought. A livestock expert at Oklahoma State University predicts a more than 25 percent decline in cattle by January 2012. Darrell Peel says the lack of rain isn’t the only problem.
“It’s the timing of this particular drought that makes it so devastating. By being dry last winter and having absolutely no spring, we’ve lost an entire year, said Peel.
Peel says northeast Oklahoma has largely escaped the effects of the dry weather so far. But other areas are really hurting.
“The western third of course is the worst area. It’s been very, very dry.”
“The western tier counties in the panhandle of Oklahoma have had dramatically reduced forage production and so we’re talking about all cattle numbers in those regions probably being down by fifty percent,” said Peel.
Peel says it could take five to ten years from the end of the drought for cattle herds to return to normal levels.
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