USDA economist, “very tough times” for livestock

The word hope is being used a lot in agriculture when it comes to the weather and there was no shortage of the word being used at the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing this morning on disaster help for farmers.

USDA economist Joe Glauber said there’s no question that livestock producers are going through very tough times with drought conditions.

“It doesn’t matter which specie you’re looking at, they’ve been under very tight margins and particularly for those who depend on pasture,” Glauber continues, “I think that that’s the double whammy, if you will, because not only are you facing high feed costs, you’re looking at very limited pasture opportunities.”

Glauber said “hopefully”, if there’s a return to more normal yields on the feed grain and soybean side this year, there should be some softening of feed prices toward the end of the year and “hopefully” some spring rains to get pasture conditions back up.

Glauber says with the variability of weather, likelihood of further drought this year and continued climate change issues, the agency continues to work on adaption strategies for farmland and forests.

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