WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Cattle are streaming into auctions across
the country as ranchers sell animals amid a spreading drought that
has shriveled pastures and driven up the price of feed corn.
Beef from those animals will start showing up in grocery stores
in November and December, temporarily driving down meat prices. But
prices are expected to rise sharply by January in the wake of
dwindling supplies and smaller livestock herds.
The number of cattle has been dropping for years, but the pace
picked up last year as Texas ranchers liquidated herds.
Experts say that while the drought in the Southern Plains last
year was bad, the cattle industry nationally was able to absorb the
impact. This year's drought is much wider, so the market
implications are larger and more industry players are impacted.