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Drought causes cattle herd declines, potential rise in beef prices

February 16, 2013
turnip block.

TOES AND TURNIPS — Cattle grazing in a field of turnip greens also turned up the turnips. Turnips are an option for cool season cattle forage. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photo by Don Hubbell)

LITTLE ROCK – The number of beef cattle in the U.S. declined for the seventh straight year, and the rate of decline in 2012 was faster for Arkansas than the rest of the nation – a trend that could mean higher prices for that lunchtime burger.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the U.S. beef cow herd was down 3 percent, or 862,000 to 29.3 million head on Jan. 1 of this year. Arkansas saw a 6 percent decline in 2012 from 909,000 to 851,000.

Across the United States the number of dairy cows was unchanged but the number of dairy cows in Arkansas decreased 18 percent from 11,000 in 2012 to 9,000 in 2013.  READ MORE …



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