Ongoing drought likely to impact cattle stocks

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Ongoing drought likely to impact cattle stocks

A livestock economist says the weather will likely be a big factor in Friday’s semi-annual cattle inventory report.

Scott Brown of the University of Missouri says he expects to see some pretty big drops. “We are seeing drier weather in some of the important cow-calf regions of the country,” he says.

And with beef cow slaughter continuing to run well above levels of a year ago, Brown says. “We’re very clearly in the ‘we’re going to keep reducing beef cows and we want to see what those numbers look like,'” he says. “On top of that, we’re seeing drier weather in parts of the country and lots of news, at least anecdotal, of cow loss in places like Texas, Oklahoma, southwestern Missouri.”

He tells Brownfield with the potential for higher livestock prices – there could start to be some expansion in areas where drought hasn’t been an issue. “But, I expect a slow turnaround right now,” he says. “The sheer uncertainty of record inflation and a number of issues that I think will make producers think twice about these expansion plans.”

The report comes out Friday at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. Central.

AUDIO: Scott Brown, University of Missouri