beef supply

Cattle
8:01 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Cattle move north for water

After years of drought, the central and northern Plains have seen a rise in cattle feedlots.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

The U.S. cattle herd has changed dramatically over the last four years, largely thanks to drought.

The supply of beef has been in free-fall. Perhaps you’ve noticed sky-high prices for hamburger and steak.

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Beef & Drought
8:01 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Drought re-shaping the cattle map

Cattle come to Van Housen Feed Yard to be fattened up before heading to one of the nearby meat packing plants. Drought in beef states like Texas and Oklahoma has led to growth feedlots in Nebraska.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

Listen to Grant's story.

Drought is re-shaping the beef map and raising the price of steak. Ranchers are moving herds from California to Colorado and from Texas to Nebraska seeking refuge from dry weather. And cattle producers in the Midwest are making the most of it.

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Foot and mouth fears
8:00 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Ranchers Wringing Hands Over Possible Brazilian Beef Imports

Gyr cattle in Brazil
Credit Wikipedia

Hear the audio version on Luke's story

Sharon Harvat drives a blue pick-up truck through a field of several hundred pregnant heifers on her property outside Scottsbluff in western Nebraska and notes, “On a warm day they’ll lay out flat like that...”.

Harvat and her husband John run their cattle here in the Nebraska panhandle during the winter and take them back to the mountains in northern Colorado when the calves are born. Harvat says, when she heard about a proposal to open up beef trade with Brazil, she felt a pit in her stomach.  “On an operation like ours, where we travel a lot with our cattle, that would probably come to an abrupt halt if there was an outbreak.”

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Harvest Public Media story
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Beef herd poised for growth … and cheaper steak eventually

Even if the beef herd begins expanding again in 2014 it could take two years for the effects to show up in consumer prices.
Credit Grant Gerlock/Harvest Public Media

For the first time in nearly 10 years, the nation’s beef herd may be poised for growth, which could mean relief from rising meat prices. But with the fewest cattle in the beef supply since the 1960s, slow growth won’t cut prices anytime soon.

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