7:14am

Thu July 19, 2012
Business

Drought Forces Cattle Sales

  • Jackie Fortier speaking with Terry Fankhauser, Executive Vice President of the Colorado Cattlemen's Association

Corn and hay production have been hit hard by the drought and so has Colorado’s cattle industry, who rely on those staple crops to feed their animals.

As the summer has become drier and feed shortages for the winter have become grim, increasing numbers of ranchers across the state are having to sell their cattle herds earlier than normal – in some cases months earlier. This not only equates to an immediate loss because cattle are not ready for market, but also from the future calves they may have produced.

Over 70% of Colorado is in an extreme drought, up almost 54 percent from this time last year according to the National Weather Service's Drought Monitor. Over 5.5% of the state listed as exceptional, the worst level of drought on the scale.