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February 26, 2013

Drought reshapes U.S. beef industry

  • The dwindling number of cattle is forcing feedlots and meatpacking plants to close.
    Associated Press

    WICHITA, Kan. — Years of drought are reshaping the U.S. beef industry with feedlots and a major meatpacking plant closing because there are too few cattle left in the United States to support them.

    Some feedlots in the nation's major cattle-producing states have already been dismantled, and others are sitting empty. Operators say they don't expect a recovery anytime soon, with high feed prices, much of the country still in drought and a long time needed to rebuild herds.

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