DIGHTON, Kan. (AP) -- An ongoing drought in the Southern Plains and wildfires are forcing ranchers to send more cattle to slaughterhouses.
Drought in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas and parts of Missouri are driving ranchers to sell their cattle for slaughter earlier than in past years.
The combination of drought and wildfires is leaving ranchers with a shortage of grazing land and leading them to sell more cattle, earlier than normal.
Federally inspected beef cow slaughter in April was up 17 percent from the same month last year. And that comes after a 13 percent increase in March.