Dr. Damona Doye Talks About Rebuilding Herds After The DroughtThu, 23 Feb 2012 22:14:10 CST
It’s no secret the 2011 drought was of historic proportions. It certainly left its mark on Oklahoma and Texas.
It’s also no secret that the drought did a lot of damage to cattle producers and forced a lot of them into some precarious financial situations.
Dr. Damona Doye, an agricultural economist at Oklahoma State University, said a lot of producers are trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces.
“There are people who have liquidated entire herds. We have people who liquidated part. We have people who held onto as many cattle as they could.
“If they liquidated early, they probably saved a lot on feed expenses. They still got good cattle prices and so they have money in the bank, hopefully, to buy back those expensive females,” she said.
If the current mild temperatures and wet conditions continue allowing good pasture regeneration, it’s these producers who will be in the best position, Doye said.
Other producers aren’t so lucky, but Doy said it is no time for despair. There are a number of possible strategies producers can use to rebuild their operations.
“We’re talking to lenders about different strategies for people to get back in which range from getting back in slowly by buying stockers. Keeping, perhaps, some stocker females. Holding them over and then gradually rebuilding the herd and maybe supplementing with some cow-calf pairs.
“We’re also talking about leasing. We haven’t traditionally, in Oklahoma, done a lot of leasing of cows. It’s done more in the Midwest, but that provides people an opportunity to get back without incurring, perhaps, a lot of debt.”
Doye said rebuilding through leasing is a slow method, but that may provide an opportunity for some producers who were otherwise left without options due to the drought.
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