Baker County beef gets record sales in 2011



BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — Gross sales of beef in Baker County topped $50 million in 2011, the highest yield on record.

Sales were up $8 million and ranchers are optimistic the market conditions will persist, the Baker City Herald reports ( ).

Bowen Valley rancher Cal Foster says he’s “tickled pink” about the beef prices, which rose as supply dropped in drought-stricken states like Texas and Oklahoma.

The current U.S. cattle herd is smaller than it has been since 1952.

In the meantime, Oregon ranchers are leery of expanding their herds. The price for mother cows is high, and a dry season could turn the herd into a loss.

Costs for fuel and fertilizer are also rising, affecting the cost of raising cattle.