California's pain is Texas' gain as drought-stricken ranchers send their cattle to greener pastures here in the Lone Star State.

California could become 6 separate states

It’s so dry in California right now that ranchers are stuck either buying hay from elsewhere or selling off cattle until their grass grows back. 

"We went through that same thought process in 2011, good number of cattle left the state and now we're seeing some of those cattle come back," says Eldon White at the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.

Still, White says Texas is nowhere near pre-drought levels.

"We went down about a one million head of cattle in about a three-year period of time, and it will take us quite a while to get that regained again," he tells KTRH News.

"According to our January count numbers, we have not seen any increase from the low level we had after the drought in 2011," says White.  "Perhaps by next year's January 1 inventory we'll see a little bit of an increase."

That means higher beef prices for the rest of us in the foreseeable future.  However, ranchers who can survive will be able to cash in on those high prices.