Ranchers Sell Off During Drought - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/19/06-Longview

Ranchers Sell Off During Drought

The drought has some ranchers here in East Texas cutting their losses and selling their livestock. For some East Texas ranchers, its the inevitable conclusion to a dry year.

"You add your supplements and grazing and labor added theres no profit, and when theres no profit for us we have to bring them in and liquidate them" said Tatum rancher Ronny Bartley.

At the Longview auction barn, it was a buyers market as dozens of area ranchers brought their stock for bid. "Its been terrible for the ranchers and farmers; Ii mean they have to sell all of their animals for practically nothing" said Beckville rancher Joan Churchill-Copeland.

Some Louisiana ranchers have even come to Texas to take advantage of the sell-offs, having gone through similar tough years. "This is the worst, I've talked to a lot of old ranchers who said last time they've seen it this bad is 1956, you just want to take your lickin and get rid of them and whatever it takes start over again" said Louisiana rancher Donald LeBlanc.

For small ranches it could spell the end, and bigger outfits are expecting to continue struggling. "If we go down and can't make our ends meet, whose gonna produce the beef, who we gonna buy it from" says Bartley.

Bob Hallmark, reporting. bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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