As the state of Florida looks for ways to make ends meet, we’ve gotten word that the state’s Livestock Market News Service staff could be cut out altogether come next budget season in Tallahassee unless the industry makes waves enough to prevent it. The word we get is that four positions for Livestock Market News will appear on the Governorâ€™s recommended position cuts for fiscal year 2009/2010. This is the entire Market News staff.
At a time when the cattle industry has been hit hard by the drop in the economy(feeder calf prices have dropped 20 to 30 cents per pound over the last month), the industry needs all the help it can get. History has shown that removing market news from a state will produce a 5 to 10 cent drop in the price of cattle. A 5 cent drop on a 400 pound steer mean a $20.00 loss. Multiply that over approximately 600,000 head of feeder calves, and you get a loss of 12 million dollars to the industry. All that loss to save the state $250,000.
It is a critical time for all farmers and ranchers to be making plans to be very active in the coming months when it comes to state budgeting issues. This is one good example of something that can only be saved by strong input and activity on the part of agricuturalists to protect what it needs to keep one of Florida’s most productive industries viable.