Some Texas ranchers struggle in drought for abundant grass for herds


The U.S. Drought Monitor finds nearly 38 percent of the state is in severe drought, which means hardly any grass left for cattle to graze on could have an effect on buying meat at the grocery store.

Ranchers in far West Texas and the Panhandle, the eastern half of Texas, as well as the Hill Country bear the brunt of the drought--figuring out ways to maintain their livelihood.

Beef cattle producer and Texas Farm Bureau Associate Director of Commodity and Regulatory Activities Tracy Tomascik said for the past several years, the cattle herd in Texas and across the nation is on the rise, so pricing in regards to supply and demand are in place.

"The trickle-down effect, I don't think is going to be as exaggerated as it has been in years past, following prolonged droughts," said Tomascik. "I don't expect that we'll see a dramatic change or a shift at the grocery or the restaurant when it comes to buying beef."

Texas Beef Council's Russell Woodward said if the drought persists, it will eventually impact the price of beef at the grocery store.

"When it comes to beef prices, it really takes six to eight months or so to start to have a trickle-down effect into the grocery store," said Woodward.

Earlier this month, Governor Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster declaration for 17 counties due to drought conditions.


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