Drought Withering Away Any Chance of Recovery
July 27th, 2011
It is no secret that we are in one of the worst droughts of our lifetime. Could these weather conditions be the beginning of something much worse? Or even create a perfect storm that will lead to the beginning of the end of America’s vitality?
To begin, farmers in Oklahoma and in Texas are already bracing themselves for what may be their largest TEOTWAWKI event ever experienced. These two states are the largest producers of hay and cattle in the United States. However, due to persistent drought conditions plaguing this part of the country, the outcome has the two states seeing the smallest hay crop in over a century, thus creating a shortage of feed for livestock. ”Farms may harvest only one crop from alfalfa and Bermuda grass this year, compared with three normally”, said Larry Redmon, a state forage specialist at Texas A&M University. (Source)
The Perfect Storm
The hay shortage is leading many cattle ranchers to sell off their herds prematurely to make any type of profit. Cattle that usually graze on fields through September or October, are instead being sold to feedlots, where they are confined in pens and eat mostly corn. Steven Kay, publisher for Cattle Buyers Weekly admits that beef producers are culling cows and young females, which means smaller supplies [of cattle] for the next two years or longer. Don Close, a market director with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association in Amarillo, TX agrees with these sentiments and adds that liquidating the cattle herds is “going to make a tight supply even tighter, as we get down the road.”