Drought pushes Wisconsin farmers to sell cattle

Wisconsin’s largest co-op cattle marketer has seen a significant increase in livestock sales as grazing land dries up and feed prices rise.

The Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association in Baraboo says sales of calves, cows and other livestock increased 150 percent last week. Spokeswoman Janice Schyvinck says the sales were mostly to meat packing companies.

The state’s agriculture secretary, Ben Brancel, is urging farmers to consider alternatives for getting feed so that they can continue to profit from their herds.

Brancel says cattle sales have a ripple effect. There are fewer cows to produce milk for cheese companies and a reduced need for equipment and supplies from other businesses in their communities.

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