-- Lake Park, Ga. -- March 14, 2012 --
There are about 1.3 million head of cattle in Georgia. The value of those cows is over $650 million. And it's getting more expensive.
A drought in Texas has caused ranchers there to reduce the size of herds. Georgia ranchers are happy to fill the demand. Cattle are grown in all of the 159 counties in the state.
One Georgia rancher, Andrew Conley, said "Any time there's a drought situation and a lot of cattle have to be liquidated.. That definitely puts the burden on the rest of the country to make up the shortfall in those cattle numbers. So yes prices in Georgia have been extremely strong."
But other expenses are rising along with the cost of beef.
Conley went on to say "The input costs are terrific. What with diesel fuel over four dollars a gallon, corn's almost seven dollars a bushel. The input costs make it really a challenge now, even with the elevated prices, to capture some value on these cattle because of the input costs."
The cattle industry has about a $2 billion dollar impact on the state's economy.