Arizona ranchers hoping for rainfall, drought could mean you pay more for beef

PHOENIX - Beef is a $3.2 billion industry in Arizona, and cattle ranching families in our state have spent years bringing beef to the table.

"In this business you can always use another rain and you're always waiting for the next rain," said Arizona Cattle Growers' Association Executive Vice President Patrick Bray.

It's been awhile since those ranchers have seen rain.

"We know the demand is there, but Mother Nature hasn't cooperated with us very much," Bray said.

Bray said we already have a shortage of cattle in the market, making it even harder to keep up with demand when there isn't enough feed being grown to feed the cows.

"It'll probably take a good 30 days before you see the feed that comes in from this rain," Bray said.

Ranchers in Arizona are already a little nervous about what to expect the rest of the year.

"I think the long forecast for our guys is they're starting to look at summer and saying man, it might get a little tough if we don't get some more moisture," Bray said.

If you're reading this and saying, I don't have a ranch, how does this impact me?

"The trickle-down effect here could potentially have impact on their food prices. At the end of the day we already know there's somewhat of a shortage in the beef market and we're trying to meet those demands, but when you have ongoing drought and Mother Nature isn't cooperating it makes it tough," Bray said.

 

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