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Cattle Prices Jump More Than 30 Percent

Some ranchers in the western United States reportedly are stealing grass and hay to feed their cattle, as the drought has depleted their own pastures.NORTHERN HILLS, S.D. (AP) – The drought that plagued much of the region this summer has caused a cattle shortage, which in turn has prompted prices to rise between 30 to 40 percent higher than this time last year.

The summer’s lack of moisture made ranching difficult and contributed to a severe lack of hay and other feed sources. The Black Hills Pioneer reports that because hay prices skyrocketed, some ranchers sold off livestock as there wasn’t enough feed to keep them through the winter.

Brett Loughlin, a field man at the Belle Fourche Livestock Exchange, says beef demand and exports are good. Feeder cattle at the sale barn are up roughly $10 to $20-per-hundred pounds higher than in the past few years.

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2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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