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Ranchers Herd Down Smallest Size in 60 Years

Cattle herd sizes are down, making meat prices for consumers greater. Ranchers say herd sizes won't grow anytime soon.

Every Wednesday, ranchers gather here, either to reduce or increase their herds.

But in recent years there has been more selling than buying among ranchers, as national surveys show the smallest herd sizes in about 60 years.

As it's gotten dryer and dryer through the last three or four years we are running out of water, feed is getting higher, at the same time we have sold off so many cattle,” said John Caussey, a rancher in Texoma.

Making an already risky business even riskier.

Right now we are kind of on the edge. We are taking it one week at a time going into spring, hopefully we will get some spring rains and get things a little more back to normal,” said Billy Easter, from the Wichita Livestock Sales Company.

The game these ranchers play is all about supply and demand, so even though they may have fewer cattle to take to market, the ones they do sell bring higher prices.

We are probably in better shape, as far as cattlemen, as far as our numbers in our numbers in supply and demand then we ever have been,” said Caussey.

That's why the price you pay for meat is higher and ranchers say it won't be coming down anytime soon, not until, we get the one thing Texoma, and its farmers and ranchers, need the most.

Local ranchers say the recent rain does make them a little more optimistic going into spring and summer.

But they say as far as growing their herds, if that happens, it will happen slowly.


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