by Michael Fielding
The persisting record drought in California is expected to hit the state's livestock industry hard — resulting in a projected drop of $100 million in revenue this year, according to a study by researchers at the University of California-Davis.
According to the researchers, the lack of rain in early 2015 caused cow and calf numbers to be lower than normal, and the shift from irrigated pasture will decrease forage for feeder cattle. California feedlots fatten beef calves from dairy steers, leading to a reduced cattle supply.
“Overall, we expect the cattle and calf industry will lose about $100 million, comparable to 2014,” the researchers wrote in their analysis to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
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