The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2012

April 7, 2012

Where's the beef

Area cattlemen still trying to recover from effects of drought

ENID — Consumers still see high beef prices as a result of last year’s cattle production, but contributing factors to the low production may change soon.

“Standard data says we do have record-high beef prices at the current time,” said Greg Highfill, area livestock specialist at Garfield County Oklahoma State University Extension Office. “From the demand side, consumers are wanting beef, so cattle producers are encouraged by that.”

While remembering last year’s drought in Oklahoma, many people only consider the negative effect the lack of rain had on crops, but cattle producers also were affected.

“They were hurt by the drought,” Highfill said. “Cattle had been moved to areas with grass or sold, so we don’t have as many beef cows in northwest Oklahoma as we did a few years ago.”

In fact, northwest Oklahoma is seeing low beef cow numbers and the lowest number of production cows in decades.

“From a cattle production standpoint, we are at a record low beef cow numbers,” Highfill said. “We have the fewest number of production cows that we’ve had since the 1950s.”

Even though the numbers are low, the quality of cattle is very high, Highfill said, and the cattle that are being produced are yielding more pounds of beef per cow than in previous years.

“We’ve kept the total pounds of beef that reaches the consumer at excellent levels,” Highfill said.

He said those high numbers are good, but they will be difficult to maintain, statewide and nationally.

“For the next couple of years, we are not going to be able to maintain that production. Pounds of product produced in the United States will decline,” Highfill said. “We’ve got a tight supply of beef and a good demand, so that is going to yield higher prices.”

Because the number of cows is not the only factor in beef pricing for consumers, the recent state of the economy lends to the high beef prices. Things such as the cost of fuel also increase the cost of production.

The good news is this year’s fair weather and rainfall may allow more cattle producers to bring cattle back to northwest Oklahoma and raise the number of cattle in the area.

“Obviously, they were hurt by the drought (last year),” said Highfill. “With the value of these calves and the ability to capture some of the increase value ... I would expect a fair number of producers to restock those pastures fairly quickly.”

For producers, it is a good time to sell cattle, said Highfill. Between good prices for selling producers and better weather this year, more cattle are expect to graze the pastures of northwest Oklahoma.

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Progress 2012
  • onlineheader.jpg 2012 ON THE HORIZON

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual progress edition. This year's 2012 On the Horizon focuses on developments now and in the future. The stories in text format are available by scrolling down this page.

    Links to pdf format: Economic Development I Health and Wellness I Education I Northwest Oklahoma I Family I Faith I Agriculture and Energy I Community Service


    February 18, 2012 1 Photo

  • cover.jpg Community Service

    Enid News & Eagle's 2012 On the Horizon edition concludes with the role of community service.

    Click HERE for text version of the stories.

    Click HERE for pdf version of the edition.

    April 15, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chisholm vs Okeene_6_BV.jpg Chisholm seeks consistency

    August 19, 2012 1 Photo

  • Karen Vanover_Bass Hospital Volunteer_2_BV.jpg A positive interaction

    Karen Vanover and A.Z. Callicoat are past volunteers of the year at their respective hospitals, Vanover at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center and Callicoat at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Sandbox Learning Center_Ella Mae Loggins_BV.jpg Foster Grandparents: The solver of all problems

    “It’s something to get up for in the morning." — Foster Grandparent Ella Loggins

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • Hedges_Carmen Ball_3_BV.jpg Hear this

    Hedges is committed to improving communications skills for those in need in northwest Oklahoma.
    Executive Director Carmen Ball said Hedges is the only full-service speech and hearing center in northwest Oklahoma.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • Stephanie Ezzell_BV.jpg Doing their part for the community

    Stephanie Ezzell is active in the community in a number of capacities, including the popular Farmers Market, on the southeast corner of Grand and Garriott.

    April 14, 2012 1 Photo

  • Keepin' Enid Green_1_BV.jpg Sorting out the service

    The curbside recycling business began after Chris Feeney of Oklahoma Employment Securities’ Material Recovery, a recycling venture, repeatedly was asked why the option wasn’t available.

    April 14, 2012 2 Photos

  • ESL_Emmanuel Baptist Church_4_BV.jpg Learning the language

    Volunteers at Emmanuel Baptist Church stepped up to fill that gap with free ESL instruction last January, and now they have hopes of expanding the program to better serve the community.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos

  • First Presbyterian Church Mentoring_1_BV.jpg Tutoring joy

    Each Wednesday after school, church members pick up students — there are 23 in this year’s group — and take them to the church building for a snack, some fun and plenty of homework help.

    April 14, 2012 3 Photos