Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wichita Falls: Drought's Impact on Cattle Business

Today's Wichita Falls Times Record News includes a report on the ongoing drought's impact on the cattle industry.  From the story:
Wichita Falls has exceeded 100-degree highs 39 of the past 40 days. There was a string of 100-plus degree days before that. By this date in a normal year, Wichita Falls would have received about 16 inches of rain. This year it has been just over 3 inches. Forecasters are not optimistic about substantial rain between now and September.
The drought has forced ranchers to sell at auction cattle they would not ordinarily sell. 
[Joe] Parker [a local rancher] said in a typical drought, cattle raisers will usually sell older or less productive livestock to take pressure off pastures and stock tanks.
"Now, they're even selling their good producers," he said.
Being forced to sell off their good producers jeopardizes ranchers' ability to stay in business, as they will be forced in the future to replace the stock they are now selling, likely at a higher cost when that time comes.

As always, the real solution is rain.
[Parker] summed up the solution to the cattlemen's blues in a single word — rain.
"If we can get some rain, we can heal," he said.
Here is a video from the news story.

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