Will drought change where cows call home?
The drought that is pounding the Western U.S. is doing more than creating unprecedented wildfires. The number of head removed from the herd since July 1 is approximately half a million, and roughly a third of those came from regions 6 (AR, LA, NM, OK & TX and 9 (AZ, CA, HI & NV). The July 1 cattle inventory no longer provides a by-state breakdown, but compared to the total the number of beef cows culled, it is equivalent to 1.5% of the beef cow inventory listed in the July 1 cattle report.
This is a similar pace to what was seen last year heading into fall. Last year, the run-up in beef cow slaughter was fairly extreme, and beef cow slaughter may not reach those levels again. Still, there could be substantial regional differences in where the cattle herd is distributed, especially if winter wheat and coastal grazing opportunities do not come to fruition, according to the Daily Livestock Report.
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