Posted: Jul 13, 2012 6:20 PM by Kathy Kuretich
Updated: Jul 13, 2012 9:38 PM
The severe drought that's plagued much of the country is having a ripple effect on the cattle industry, here at home.
Corn prices are soaring and it's making it difficult for ranchers to feed their livestock.
Fortunately on the Central Coast, there's enough grass to get the cattle through the fall, but when corn goes up nationwide, the price of cattle falls... and its likely it won't just be ranchers who have to pay up.
"We've seen the cost in a bushel of corn from $5.50 to almost $8.00."
Templeton cow operator Dick Nock has been in the cattle industry for decades. But right now, he said, times are especially tough.
"It costs a lot of money to feed these cows," he said. "It's slowing down the whole industry."
That's because many ranchers and dairy farmers are selling off their livestock - bringing down the cost of cattle - due to soaring corn prices.
"They've got to get rid of them, they can't feed them . They cannot buy the hay to feed the animal, you can't make it work," said Nock.
Right now 30-percent of the country's corn crop is at risk and Nock said hay prices have also shot up from $150 dollars a ton to $250 a ton.
"If the price of corn goes up the price of cattle has to come down," he said.
That may mean higher prices at the grocery store for meat, poultry, and milk... come fall.
"The meat prices that we have today are the highest that I've seen in the last, well, forever," said Nock.
So while much drought-plagued section of the country has been declared a natural disaster area, the Central Coast is not immune to the devastation.
"It's a disaster from the standpoint of increasing the cost of grain," said Nock.
According to agricultural meteorologists, there's no significant rain on the horizon.
PLEASE HELP US MODERATE COMMENTS
Offensive or inappropriate comments are subject to removal. To report a comment, please e-mail us at email@example.com, and include the name of the story and information on the comment.
Thank you! KSBY.com
Get deals up to 80% off here!
Find the lowest gas prices in your area
Submit your photos to KSBY
Check out our calendar of events
Watch Daybreak Web Videos in full
Save with Hot Deals across our counties!
Events across the Central Coast
Follow The CW5 on Facebook.
The KSBY online public file.
What do you think? Leave us your feedback.
KSBY is your official CA Lottery station for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties