Commentary: Coping with a rain-free zone
Packers are also watching this drought with more than just a passing interest. It’s no secret they’ve got more slaughter capacity than cattle coming through the pipeline. Just like feedyards, packers can’t turn a profit on low numbers or shuttered plants.
Retailers? They’re probably fine since our friends in the pork and poultry industries will gladly increase production to fill any meat cases beef producers can’t. And when beef loses that market share, can it ever be regained?
Tough questions for an industry facing a horrific natural disaster that seems far from over.
Of course, it will rain again. And beef producers will be able to gradually build their herds again, though such plans may now be a few years down the road.
Drought has limited the options for ranchers, which calls for a re-examination of your business plan. Were you prepared for a drought? Will you be better prepared for the next one?
Maybe this drought has forced you to take some actions you were delaying because cattle prices were so good. Has your herd culling been deep enough in the past? Will your herd’s genetics be improved when you’re finally able to restock?
I know, it’s hard to make lemonade out of the lemon we’ve been dealt this year.
Here’s wishing you a three-day rain.