Number of Texas cattle sees record drop

Monday, December 19, 2011 - 9:13am

Beef prices may soon be on the the number of cattle in Texas continues to drop. Texas AgriLife researchers say there are 600,000 fewer cows in the state, after the drought forced many ranchers to cut their losses and sell their herds. That's a drop of 12 percent across Texas, the greatest decrease in state history.

Gene Bobo of Texas Agrilife Extension  says about 70 to 75 percent of cattle in Cass County have been sold. "One week we had over 3,000 head liquidated in Cass County," he said. "Now this past week was about 1,250, so it's kind of averaged out now, because most people do not have cattle anymore, or just a small amount."

He said many factors have forced ranchers to sell their herds, including low water levels in area ponds, and a huge demand for hay. Wtih feed prices soaring, some farmers just weren't able to pay the sky-high bills...and that meant turning to the auctions.

Bobo says  the key for Texas now is recovery. He's holding several workshops in conjuction with Marion County AgriLife agents to help ranchers establish new herds, and to help landowners maintain their ponds in times of drought. For more information, visit the website.

You can also contact the office at (903) 756-5391.

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