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“Doing Great, But We Need Rain”

“Doing Great, But We Need Rain”

I attended a couple of cattlemen’s conventions this week. When producers were asked how things were going, the answer invariably was a variation of “doing great, but we need rain.” In fact, that’s become the refrain across a good portion of cow country.

The majority of producers are at that critical point where moisture is needed [3]. Others are at the point where they have begun to liquidate marginal animals and are starting to implement drought mitigation strategies [4]. And, of course, there are a number of producers who are in that “I’m baked” category.

Fortunately the last category pertains to a lot fewer producers than last year at this point. Plus, weathermen continue to talk about rain, early monsoons and the like. However, if the moisture situation doesn’t improve soon, we may see the Southern Plains restock quicker than anyone thought possible.

Increasingly, it’s looking more and more like 2012 will be another year that was positioned for expansion, but the expansion was stalled [5] by a lack of feed and high hay costs [6]. The converse of that is that if 2012 does result in another year of significant liquidation, supplies of cattle could become so tight that prices could hit levels we never dared dream of.

How are conditions in your locale? Participate in our online poll [7] and leave your thoughts in the comments block below the poll question.