Cattle Farmers Hit Hard by Summer Drought, Snowstorms

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron
Sparks says the cattle industry is going through hard economic
times brought on by extreme weather.

Whether its heavy snowstorms in Colorado or last summer's dry weather in Alabama. He said consumer can expect beef prices to climb.

Sparks has asked the Governor to assist in helping Alabama cattle farmers deal with the lack of hay and alternative feed sources as they winter their herds. He reports that the shortage caused cattle producers in the state to purchase 97-thousand more tons of supplemental feed last year compared to 2005.

Sparks said the hay and feed shortages forced some farmers to thin their herds and send ten-thousand more brood cows in 2006 than in 2005.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)