Drought causing problems for ranchers, farmers across Oklahoma; grocery meats expected to rise

TULSA - Expect a hefty price tag for protein this holiday season.

That's what officials with the Tulsa County OSU Extension Office are saying.

"Meats at the supermarket are probably going to increase in price into the following year," said Bruce Peverley, the Agricultural Educator at the Tulsa County OSU Extension Office.

That's because Oklahoma's long-lasting drought is still affecting the state's ranchers and farmers.

Rancher Will Cubbage feed prices are high, food is scarce and water is drying up in many of the man-made ponds ranchers depend on.

These difficulties have forced Cubbage to sell off part of his herd of cattle, something he says he wouldn't do in normal circumstances.

The Tulsa Stockyards hosts a cattle sale every Monday. Stockyards owner Jon Don Eaves says business, for him at least, hasn't slowed down.

"A lot of these cattle that they probably would have held until later to [sell], they're going ahead and selling them now," said Eaves.

One of the ranchers lined up to sell off part of his herd is Will Cubbage of the Circle C Angus Ranch.

It's the second year in a row the state has experienced severe drought conditions, a devastating fact for farmers and ranchers still trying to recover from a difficult 2011.
    
"Every week, we sell someone out of the cattle business and we hate that because that's our livelihood here," Eaves said.

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