Drought continues to hurt cattle industry

Not all droughts are the same. Last year the drought was centered on the southern plains that impacted cow-calf and stocker operations in Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states. This year's drought has been much more broad based covering many states across the midwest. In a interview with KNEB/Rural Radio Network, Livestock Marketing Information Center Director Jim Robb says the past two years of drought have impacted the cattle industry differently.

The past two years have been hard on all sectors from the cow - calf to the packer level. Robb says high cattle and feed prices has tightened margins all sectors of the beef chain.

Cattle prices have fallen off their record levels recorded earlier this year, but prices remain well above 2011 levels and at record levels for this time of year. Going into 2013, Robb anticipates less aggressive buying for calves and yearlings for the coming months.

That's quite a different pricing pattern than what has been seen in recent years and one Robb is recommending producers continue to monitor. Other huge factors of cattle prices will be the weather outlook, if drought persists as well as the size of the 2013 US corn crop.

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