AFBF study shows western U.S. drought to have regional impacts

Lower crop yields and herd selloffs in states affected by drought will have limited impacts, according to a new survey of producers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and 11 Western states.

American Farm Bureau Economist Daniel Munch says 40 percent of respondents reported they sold off part of their herds due to high hay prices and deteriorating grazing lands. “Overall, not going to have a huge, immediate impact on the broader beef market.  Texas and Nebraska were not nearly impacted by droughts and those are our two largest beef producing states, but it did take a toll on some of our ranches out west.”

Producers rated the following areas on a scale of 0 being not prevalent to 5 being extremely prevalent: Crop-specific factors, livestock-specific factors and general water access.

Nearly 70 percent of growers reported lower yields at harvest and Munch says there will be long term impacts on produce that consumers will notice. “That will come into play next year when accessing those products will be a little bit harder to get,” Munch says. “As far as our grains, our corn and our soybeans, not as much of an impact because Iowa and the central heartland region wasn’t as hard hit by the drought as out western states

Other survey highlights include: 87 percent report an increase in local feed costs, 79 percent say they removed livestock because of insufficient forage and 74 percent reported reduced surface water deliveries.

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