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Calf prices in the spring had many cow-calf operators optimistic about the next several years and possible herd expansion. Widespread drought in the Corn Belt, however, has resulted in higher feed prices, which had a negative effect on feeder cattle prices. In Kentucky, the early summer drought also forced many operations to consider reducing herd numbers, and/or purchase additional feed. The drought has negatively impacted the second cutting of hay, which should result in higher hay prices this winter.
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