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February 19, 2014

California Cattle to California: GTT

First the oil companies and now the cows. Soon we'll have everything they love.

The severe drought in California is forcing ranchers to thin their herds and sell off to buyers in Texas and Oklahoma. Both states are still dealing with drought conditions too but not nearly as severe as what's happening out west. Rainfalls in the Lone Star State and that ballcap Oklahoma have been better the past couple years which means grass is growing and can support hungry cows.

Because of historically dry conditions, California’s soil moisture — a key ingredient for the forage that cattle graze on — is low throughout the state. With feed costs high and weeks of dry weather in the forecast, ranchers are already selling off parts of their herds as normally green grazing pastures have turned brown.

“We’re in the drought now, so a lot of these are going back to Texas,” said rancher and auction house co-owner Monty Avery, gesturing to a pen packed full of cows. “We usually sell about 100-150 animals per week. Now we’re seeing 800-1,000 per week, so the volume’s jumped up.”

The bad news for everybody is the cost of raising cattle, even migrant cattle shipped where there's water is driving up beef prices. Oh, In N Out Burger has opened up a bunch of joints here too. Tried one last week. Not bad.


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posted by Dave In Texas at 08:58 PM

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