Snowpack/drought news: ‘If the moisture doesn’t come, more cows will go to town’ — Dan McCarty #codrought #cowx

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (John Stroud):

Locally, as in other parts of the United States, the drought has impacted hay production, availability of rangeland for grazing, and the number of cattle being sent to slaughter, said [Parachute rancher Dan McCarty], noting that the slaughter rate nationally is up 11 percent for January. “If the moisture doesn’t come, more cows will go to town,” he said.

Giving the keynote presentation at Saturday’s gathering of cattle producers from Garfield and Pitkin counties was John Paterson, executive director of producer education for the NCBA. His talk, “How Does Grass, Water and the Consumer Affect Me as a Rancher,” focused on the drought situation in the southwestern United States and elsewhere across the country, and its impact on the beef industry.

“I’m not going to tell you anything you don’t already know. … There are some pretty hard decisions to be made,” Paterson told the gathering of about 60 area cattle ranchers…

At the same time, “I am excited about the cattle business and its future,” Paterson added. “We just have this situation called drought that is keeping us from making some money right now.”

Ranchers can hold out in hopes that the drought situation will change soon, he said. But many are deciding sell off parts or all of their herds in an effort to buy some time, Paterson said.

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