California Ranchers Responding to Extreme Drought
Ranchers culling livestock herds
In January, business at the 101 Livestock Market's cattle auction on California's Central Coast is usually slow. The busy season is normally in June or July, when ranchers have had time to fatten their animals for weeks on spring grasses.
This year, however, business is bustling, with packed pens of moaning cattle and cowboys standing on tip-toe to get a glance at their potential prizes.
Because of historically dry conditions, California's soil moisture — a key ingredient for the forage that cattle graze on — is low throughout the state. With feed costs high and weeks of dry weather in the forecast, ranchers are already selling off parts of their herds as normally green grazing pastures have turned brown.
Black Blade: Looks like now is the time to stock up on and freeze large quanities of beef and hogs before prices soar higher. I have plenty of trout, duck, pheasnat, deer, elk and pronghorn in the freezer so no need for beef and hogs.