Cattle Ranchers Holding Out Surviving Drought - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/15/06-Longview

Cattle Ranchers Holding Out Surviving Drought

Some East Texas cattle ranchers could fair well at market after other ranchers around the state have liquidated their stock. They have weathered the storm, surviving the drought, wildfires and almost no hay during the winter.  They've watched others sell out while they've hung on.

"It's a normal thing in the cattle business to go through droughts and floods, you just prepare for it.  I really wouldn't call it good news, but the good news is there's moisture that we're getting," says Longview rancher Bob Griffin.

Many ranchers in East Texas sold their stock at low prices within the last two months because they couldn't afford to keep feeding them. What looked like a possible disaster from winter drought could now turn into a boom, as this year's beef could get top dollar at auction. That's because the wildfires and drought in West Texas, have caused many of the cattle to die.  That means there are fewer cattle on the market.

"Cattle prices are way up from where they used to be five or 10 years ago and it's still a paying proposition.  Prices are good, better than they've ever been," Griffin says.

But Griffin says he wouldn't want to have to go through it again.

"We just want to have a normal year, and right now its looking normal," he says.

Griffin, like many ranchers, will take his stock to auction in May.

Bob Hallmark reporting.

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