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Cattle producers try to rebuild herds during drought

Amarillo, TX - Area cow producers continue to rebuild their herds even though the three year drought continues.

"Producers are looking at the decision of restocking, now this can be a problem in itself because obviously some of our cow/calf producers went through hard economic times when they lost their pastures and had to really get rid of half their cow herd," said Dr. Steve Amosson who is a Management Economist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

So now while producers are getting good prices for the cows they have left it's costing twice as much to purchase replacement calves.

"The irony is if we do start to rebuild this cow herd, the point is you're holding heifers back that would normally go into the feeding supply and eventually into the meat cases," Amosson said.

Amosson says beef prices were around $2 for a package of hamburger, but have now gone up to around $4.

But this cow shortage is also having an impact on our area feed lots.

"We are the cattle feeding capital of the world, well you start reducing the cow herd and then reducing the supply of cattle on feed, well that's reducing the amount of cattle on feed in our area, which is hurting our feed lots," said Amosson.

Amosson expects it to take another three years for our area to completely turn around from this situation.

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