Livestock business soars after rain

- Area cattle dealers said in just one week, livestock prices have increased sharply and, at Producers Livestock Show and Rodeo in San Angelo this week, the number of animals being auctioned was much lower.

"This was almost perfect timing," stated Producers Livestock Show and Auction Manager, Benny Cox.

Producers Livestock's Sales Manager said the rain could not come at a better time as, just 1 week ago, ranchers and cow dealers were almost to the point of selling productive females from their herd stock. The 4 days  of rain has affected the number of animals being sold.

"This week we sold 2,100. Today we have less than 400. Last Thursday we had over 16,000," continued Cox.

He said many ranchers were worried this drought would be as bad as the drought in 2011 which still impacts the cattle business today.

"We've had lot lighter runs here in the next 3 years due to the fact so many of those... of the herd base... was sent to other states and they didn't come back," explained Cox.

Cattle dealer, Vic Choate, has bought and sold cattle for years. He came from his ranch in San Saba County. Before the rain,  he was selling his cattle as the price of feed kept increasing. Now, he can afford to buy back cattle.

"We're not out of the drought yet, for sure; but, this is a big game changer and so... we have to change our plans now," said Choate. "We're going to look at restocking some of the country that we've been off of and now we have to look at paying higher prices for females and for replacement stock. "

In one week, livestock prices have sharply increased.

"It's gonna set the summer for us and change everybody's attitudes... (it has) already changed the markets, already jumped all these cattle from $3 to $10 cattle weight... $300 on the cattle head already. So, it's going to help us all," finished Choate.

Choate said this is good news for all and saved the cattle business for another 3 to 5 weeks.

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