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U.S. Cattle Herd at an All-Time Low

Feb 1 2014, 7:37am CST | by , in News | Other Stuff

U.S. Cattle Herd is at an All-Time Low
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The U.S. cattle herd is at an all-time low. In fact, it is the lowest it has ever been in over 63 years. This has sent the prices of beef soaring. Droughts in Texas have been identified as the major culprit.

It’s been three long years without much in the way of rains in Texas. The area is the center of the beef cattle industry. The US is king in matters of beef provision and that too on a worldwide basis. But now it looks like the price of everything from T-bone steaks to prime ribs will hit the roof. 

One farmer has lost 22 cows and two bulls since the scarcity of water. Without sufficient rainfall his ranch is a dry place without any nutrients for the farm animals. Ranchers throughout Texas are in somewhat of a fix. They don’t know what to do in such a situation. 

If this trend continues the US will go from being the main exporter of beef to being the smallest global contributor. And this spells trouble. Already the shares and stocks of farm commodities are being affected by this cataclysmic shakeup in food supply. Natural disasters cannot be offset as easily as manmade catastrophes. For them you have to be prepared. 

Meanwhile, the breeding of young cattle for the slaughterhouse takes at least 22 months. This means the replenishment of beef cattle herds will take longer than expected. And the predicament is an ironic one as is evident from the state of the Texas Roadhouse Incorporated. This steakhouse has seen better days. Prices have skyrocketed since nowadays the supply side remains pretty tight.   

Source: Bloomberg

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