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Ongoing drought likely to impact cattle inventory numbers

A livestock economist says weather will likely be a significant factor in Friday’s biannual Cattle Inventory report.

University of Missouri’s Scott Brown says he expects to see some pretty big declines.  “We’re seeing more dry weather in some of the important cow-calf regions of the country,” he says. 

And with beef cow slaughter continuing to run well above year-ago levels, Brown says.  “We’re very clearly in the ‘we’re going to continue to reduce beef cows and we want to see what those numbers look like’,” he says.  “On top of that we’re seeing more dry weather in some parts of the country and a lot of, at least anecdotal, news of losing cows in places like Texas, Oklahoma, southwest Missouri.”

He tells Brownfield with the potential for higher cattle prices – there could start to be some of expansion in areas where drought hasn’t been an issue.  “But, I expect a slow turnaround right now,” he says.  “The sheer uncertainty of record inflation, and a number of issues that I think will make producers think twice on those expansion plans.”

The report comes out Friday at 3pmET/2pm Central.

Ongoing drought likely to impact cattle inventory numbers