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Feeding Cattle Gets Costly as Drought Grips U.S. Pasture

  • U.S. supplies of hay fell to lowest level since 2012
  • Cattle herd in the U.S. shrank to the smallest since 2016

Widening drought in the U.S. High Plains is putting more pressure on cattle ranches already squeezed by soaring feed prices and a lack of hay.

A week of dry weather worsened drought in top U.S. cattle states including Nebraska and Kansas, with recent precipitation totals in the region among the sparsest on record, according to Deborah Bathke, of the National Drought Mitigation Center, who authored this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor.