ROCKVILLE, Ind. (WTHI) - Every Saturday, Stan Gildersleeve is a busy man, running the Rockville Livestock Auction.
But this year, he's been extra busy, because sales have been up.
As for the price of most livestock, it's the same story.
The lack of rain has led to a lack of food (grass and hay), which has led to farmers that just can't afford to keep their animals healthy.
"Rather than let them get real thin and poor, they've just decided they have to sell them before they get too far gone," said Gildersleeve.
In a normal year, livestock auctions allows farmers to sell between two and three hundred head of cattle every weekend. This year, they've been selling between four and five hundred.
With that many animals on the market, the price drops. This means for farmers like Ryan Clark, the bidding is a gamble.
"We usually sell in the fall," said Clark. "Obviously, we don't want to really give them away. We thought we might even keep them till next spring if the price rebounds."
You might think that low price is good for consumers, and, in the short term, it is.
However, it will have a negative affect next year.
"With a shortage of the grain, and the feed and the cattle out, and hogs and chickens and everything, it could be devastating to the meat industry," said Gildersleeve.
"It's been down 40 to 50 cents a pound from what it was this spring," said Clark, "so, we're hoping it'll come back; we need it to come back."
Gildersleeve expects us to start seeing the shortage in beef next year.
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