Cattle farmers expecting normal year after drought

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Cattle numbers tumbled to their lowest level since 1952 after last year’s record drought across much of the nation.

The impact was felt in the Hoosier state, too, where the U.S. Department of Agriculture said beef numbers dropped by 18 percent since 2007. Last year, the state lost 2 percent of the herd, or about 4,000 beef cows.

Local farm experts and operators, however, say cattle numbers likely held steady in Jackson County.

“I would say cow-calf operations are probably at the same numbers as usual,” Purdue Extension agent Richard Beckort said. “Most of our cow-calf operations are smaller, so they raise their own feed and aren’t as affected by drought as much as larger operations.”

He was uncertain of area feedlot operations, but Tom Hackman said he and his father expect to gather a normal herd on their farm off State Road 135 south of Vallonia.


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