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Economist says widespread herd expansion is likely still several years out

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A livestock economist says the cattle industry continues to contract and drought is one of the forces behind it.  

Oklahoma State University’s Derrell Peel says it has had an impact on most of cattle country. “That’s one of the reasons why I think this contraction looks a little different and why it’s a little different process than what we experienced about 10 years ago,” he says.  “We contracted severely, but we turned it around because that drought was very much focused in the Southern Plains.”

He tells Brownfield recent reports show producers still aren’t holding heifers back.  “They told me in meetings ‘I need to sell’,” he says.  “I’ve got to heal up financially.”

Peel says many operations are on their way to recovery, and there has been more talk about retaining heifers and herd expansion.  

Economist says widespread herd expansion is likely still several years out