Wyoming ranchers have been selling off cattle early because there’s not enough grass for them to graze on because of the drought.
The Casper Star-Tribune reported that the Torrington Livestock market sold more than 17,000 head of cattle in June, nearly ten times as many as normal. More ranchers are also delivering animals they’ve sold this month, rather than wait until August or September.
Others are trying to move their cattle to pastures in other states but that’s an expensive option.
One of the Torrington market’s owners, Michael Schmitt, said he expects higher cattle sales to continue, reducing the number of cattle in the state by up to a third.
The sell-off started as Wyoming ranchers were still trying to recover from the drought that started in 2002.