S.D. Brand Board member expects drop in cattle herd

Farm Forum

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – State Brand Board member Curt Mortenson of Fort Pierre says he expects the lingering drought and low prices will cause South Dakota farmers and ranchers to sell many of their cattle.

Mortenson says long-range forecasts indicate South Dakota and the rest of the Northern Plains could get rain to relieve the drought that started more than a year ago. But he says he’s worried that cattle prices will continue to drop.

Mortenson says a drop in the state’s cattle herd will mean fewer brand inspections will be done in the program aimed at preventing the theft of cattle and horses in western South Dakota. That’s why he and other members of the Brand Board decided to increase the inspection fee from 90 cents to $1 a head.