KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The sale of Texas cattle forced by the state’s prolonged drought will have a negative impact on Tennessee cattle producers, a beef specialist at the University of Tennessee said Thursday.
Dr. James R. Neel, an animal science professor in the UT Agricultural Extension Service, said the sale of Texas cattle due to a shortage of forage for the animals will put more beef on the market.
”More beef on the market will affect the finished cattle market and that will come back to Tennessee producers,” Neel said. ”It will hurt our feeder cattle market.”
Neel said Tennessee’s cattle industry is geared to feeder cattle production.
”We produce feeder cattle that are then transported to the Midwest and West where they are finished on grain for slaughter,” Neel said.
If lower prices show up on grocers’ shelves, consumers will probably see the difference primarily in hamburger prices and only for a brief period, Neel said.
”Our breeding stock is already lower than it’s been in several years and our calf numbers are lower than they have been in 20 years, maybe longer,” Neel said. ”In the long run, that’s going to reduce the supply of beef and drive up beef prices.”