SAN ANGELO, Texas — The ranching industry was majorly affected when the long drought we experienced, killed off most of the grass. This grass is vital for raising cattle to bring to market.

The General Manager of Palmer Feed and Supply, Bridget Scott says “The tendency that I’m seeing is to buy a lower protein to provide more energy because there is not as much grass out there.”

The feed comes in different protein amounts. Scott says she is seeing more of her customers gravitate toward the lower protein amounts of feed. This reason being that with less protein, there is more energy supply in the food. So more food will need to be consumed to meet protein levels but less for energy.

The other alternative to feed is hay, but hay prices have skyrocketed due to the drought as well. Scott says a “coastal round bale last year was around 100 dollars a bale. I’ve seen them 200-230 dollars a bale.”

The feed cubes can range in protein levels from 20-37 percent. According to Scott, most ranchers are selecting a lower level of protein because the lower protein provides the animal with more energy per feeding.

Scott says if we continue to see droughts similar to this summer, it can cause ramifications that hurt the industry and trickle down to the consumer.

Scott says it ultimately comes down to each rancher knowing their stock and land to decide what is best in their situation.