Friday, August 10, 2012

Drought will impact price, dry farm yields

An agricultural official predicts the drought will change the market for meat and other commodities in Utah significantly in the coming months.

Jared Christensen, the director of marketing for the Department of Agriculture, said the lack of moisture means feed on the local ranges in Utah will evaporate more quickly this year, forcing ranchers to sell off cattle and sheep earlier than normal, resulting in higher prices.

Randy Parker, president of the Utah Farm Bureau, said the drought’s impact will be especially significant in rural areas of the Beehive State. He said Kane and Garfield counties especially depend on the economic contribution of the cattle industry.

He said direct sales total almost $7 million in those counties. Moisture, he said, is one issue cattlemen can’t plan for.

The lack of moisture will hurt more than feed and the price of meat.

Christensen said the drought will also have a significant impact on wheat production for many Top of Utah dry farms. Standard Examiner