From CBS news Dallas, the slaughterhouses are full as ranchers bring in cattle early. Texas is in a severe drought and ranchers aren’t able to feed and water their cattle. So they’re bringing them into the slaughterhouses early. Feed costs are skyrocketing and the pastures are all burnt up with the dry conditions, so the ranchers really have no choice unless they want to watch their cattle succumb to the heat and die.
For 17 days straight, the Dallas-Fort Worth Area has reached triple digit temperatures.With the hot weather and lack of rain, nearly the entire state remains in a serious or severe drought. Currently, 246 of Texas’s 254 counties are under a burn ban.
That is creating a surplus in the number of cattle heading to auction, as livestock owners can’t afford to feed them and are looking to sell.
Jess Elrod, of Sanger, has been in the cattle business all of his life, but right now, keeping his cows seems to cost more than they’re worth.
“The hay prices and feed prices have gone up and the grass is all burned up. There’s nothing to eat,” he said. “The grass is like it is in December or January, and the grass that’s left doesn’t have any protein in it. Anything that you can do without needs to go to town.”
That’s why Elrod and many other cattle raisers are thinning out their herds by taking some to market early.
So a word to the wise, if you have a deep freeze and you like to have a steak or roast once a week, you’d best stock up now before prices go up more than they already have.