It’s no secret that western America is feeling the weight of a serious drought.
With that being said, tons of ranchers have been forced to sell their cattle, at a pace we haven’t seen in a decade, according to the New York Post.
Although this move could cut beef prices down in the upcoming term, it will only make them spike even higher by next year.
The drought has mainly hit cattle ranchers in California, New Mexico, and parts of Colorado, resulting in dried up grasslands, so many of them have been forced to sell their cattle further East or to feedlots where the cattle can be fattened before they’re slaughtered.
Texas A&M Agricultural Economics Professor David Anderson told CNN:
“We haven’t had this kind of movement of cows to market in a decade, since 2011, which was our last really big drought.”
Even though beef prices are predicted to drop in the upcoming term, the prices are projected to go up even more in the coming years, as the US Department of Agriculture is projecting a 7% decline in beef production next year.
To bring things into perspective, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau reported that one cattle buyer in Elk City, Oklahoma, who typically buys up to 300 cows a day, has processed 1,000 sales this week.
Needless to say, it’ll be interesting to see how these sales of massive proportions will impact the market for beef in the coming years.