WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published March 15, 2012, 07:17 PM

Cattle Prices Soar as Demand Increases

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Cattle farmers are expecting to get a little more green for their brown cows this years. Cattle prices are soaring because of an increase in demand.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Cattle farmers are expecting to get a little more green for their brown cows this years. Cattle prices are soaring because of an increase in demand.

When cattle farmers sell this year's calves, they say they're expecting to get 50 percent more for them than just two years ago.

Cattle farming is a passion for Mark Novak.

"Long days and short nights getting up in the night, but it's worth it in the end," Novak said.

He says he'll get a lot more worth from his cattle this year than year's past.

"They've really went up a lot in the last two years. The last two years have been pretty good," Novak said.

Calf prices have jumped from 90 cents a pound to a $1.50 in just two years. These calves were just born last month, but their profit margin will grow quickly.

Cattle prices are up because there are fewer to go around. Cattle numbers nationwide have dropped one percent in the last year.

"Demand is high, but we've also seen a shortage. The herd's the smallest we've seen in a long time," NDSU Benson County Extension Agent Lucas Walter said.

And the ongoing agriculture boom means there's less land reserved for cattle.

"Crop prices have been tremendous the last four-five years, and a lot of hay land was converted to crop land," Walter said.

Novak says cattle sales won't help him to an early retirement. Instead he'll use the money to help keep raising cattle in the future.

Novak says he has about 140 head of cattle on his farm, and he'll sell a little more than half this november.

Tags: