Posted: Jan 3, 2013 7:01 PM by Evan Weborg MTN News
Montana's cattle industry aims to remain strong in 2013.
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, cattle per hundred-weight prices are up $25 over the past two years, with the price in the last month at around $125.
Current demand for beef is high and cattle ranchers are looking to expand sales to international markets, according to Montana Stockgrowers Association CEO Errol Rice.
Rice noted that some ranchers are having to downsize due to the recent drought, which has increased hay prices.
He said, "So the winter will tell us a lot, if we have a fairly mild winter, people might be okay, but if we have a very tough winter it is going to require a lot of hay, and...hay prices are strong and it is in very high demand, so a lot of tough decisions are being made right now on the ground."
U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) will introduce a bill in Congress which would provide disaster assistance for farmers and ranchers.
One portion of the bill focuses on a Livestock Forage Program, aimed at assisting ranchers with the cost of feed due to losses from a drought.
Currently, the disaster assistance program is expired.