|Courtesy of www.trbimg.com|
|Many pastures are nearly bare from the lack of rain|
This year is a whole different ballgame. Those already impacted from last year's drought didn't stand a chance of holding on once June and July arrived with no rain and scorching temperatures. They were forced to liquidate herds and in some cases, entire ranches. Those intent of keeping ownership of their herd were then faced with purchasing hay, if they could find it, or forking over hundreds of dollars for feed.
|Ears of corn like this are very hard to find in fields this year.|
Courtesy of www.ingredientnews.com
So this is where the consumer fits in. At this time, the nation's cow herd is down over 7 million head of where it should be. As I'm sure many consumers have noticed, beef is not getting cheaper in the grocery store. At the same time, the export market is not slowing up either. It's the simple economics of supply and demand, and the demand is driving the dollar. Likewise the corn crop, expected to make another measly 30-50 bushels/acre yield, will put very tight restraints on domestic and foreign supply.
But don't plan on solving the issue by switching meats. Poultry and pork are being seriously affected too, as the main diets for these animals consist of corn and soybeans. In essence, experts say consumers should expect to see a 10% increase in all proteins this year, and possibly more next year.
The drought of 2012 is taking its toll on everyone. And although consumers are being forced to spend more money on proteins and quality food, its the farmers and ranchers that will be hurt the most. In many cases their livelihood depends on making top corn yields or shipping a load of heavy weaned or yearling calves to the feedlot or slaughter house. This year, those yields will only be a dream and the shipments of cattle, well there likely won't be much profit coming off the truck.
|Consumers should expect to pay a premium for beef for a while|
Courtesy of www.bigpartiessmallplaces.files.wordpress.com
While I hope that Brad Paisley song doesn't play true, unless rain comes soon and stays for a while, it's likely things may get interesting for the ag world and the supermarket meat cooler.
Until next time, you can find me off the beaten path and ridin' for the brand!!!