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Drought affects cattle market

Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Derrell Peel talks about the drought's effects specifically on beef production and prices.
by Bryan Painter Published: May 6, 2012

— Oklahoma's drought in 2010-11 continues to affect numerous agricultural markets.

But to look at one in particular, Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Derrell Peel recently talked about its effects specifically on beef production and prices.

Q: What are some of the impacts you are seeing now in the cattle industry related to the drought?

A: We have seen record high prices this spring for all classes of cattle and for boxed beef. Even higher prices are expected later with the highest prices likely to occur in 2013 or perhaps even in 2014. We are at the moment still marketing cattle from feedlots that were placed last summer as a result of drought liquidation. Feedlot inventories are expected to decrease later in 2012 as smaller placements will follow current inventories.

Q: How long do you think we'll be seeing impacts from the 2011-12 drought and please explain?

A: Partly alluded to in the previous question. The small cattle inventory will support strong cattle prices through 2014 and likely longer. With small feeder supplies already supporting prices, higher prices are likely in 2013-2014 as the industry makes a more concerted effort to retain heifers and rebuild the cow herd.

Q: Are consumers seeing an impact in “retail beef prices”? If not, will they, possibly when, and how long do you think that will possibly go on?

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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