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2014: Falling Grain Prices, Rising Cattle

Associated Press - December 28, 2014 8:19 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service says the number of cattle on Kansas feedlots has risen 2 percent in the past year to about 1.94 million. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports USDA statistics also show that overall cattle inventories across the state have grown.

Farmers and ranchers across Kansas are wrapping a growing season marked by rapidly changing fortunes buffeted by weather and markets.

The 2014 farming year in Kansas brought a meager winter wheat harvest before late spring rains eased drought conditions just in time to green up pastures and sustain bountiful fall crops of corn, soybeans and sorghum.

Cattle producers enjoyed unprecedented high livestock prices coupled with plunging feed costs.

The weather outlook for January through March of 2015 has given farmers hope, as forecasts call for wetter than normal conditions. But drought has been four years in the making in parts of Kansas and it is premature to say it is over.

City of Salina