DAVID WOODS, HOST: The market is hot, but the cattle rancher with the bad feeling is not ready to give up the market yet.
The cattle are getting more expensive.
The beef industry has already seen its stock price double since the election of President Donald Trump.
But the price of beef has also soared.
The price of a single cow can run up to $400,000, which is more than double the price many ranchers can afford.
Rancher David Wood, who owns a herd of 100 cattle, says he has no choice but to raise the price.
DAVIDWOOD: If we raise it too much, we’re going to have to do what every rancher that has a lot of money in the business has done, and sell off the cattle and move on.WOODS: The rise in cattle prices has raised concerns about the future of the ranching industry.
For years, ranchers have been raising cattle on their property.
Now they have to raise them on the highways and other public lands.
The rise of cattle in the U.S. has created a new problem: roads and bridges.
But it also threatens the livelihood of thousands of ranchers.
The road network is being eroded by a rising number of cars and trucks, and many rancher’s livelihoods are being threatened by it.
So why do many rancers think prices are going up?
A few years ago, we saw a big increase in prices and a lot more vehicles on the road.
Now, there are a lot fewer vehicles and a growing number of trucks.
So what’s going on?
Ranchers say they have seen a lot less traffic.
And they say the price is still rising.
A truckload of fresh apples on a farm near the Texas border in the state of Oklahoma is about $1.75.
And there’s a whole lot of apples on the market for less.
The prices of apples have been falling since the end of the recession.
But what about the cattle?
Well, it’s not only the cattle, it is also the transportation and storage costs that are rising.
It costs ranchers to keep the animals on their land.
They have to hire people to keep cattle on the land.
And then they have an extra layer of costs that go along with that.
And that’s because, according to the U-M Transportation Institute, the average annual cost of transporting a vehicle is more like $1,000.
So ranchers are paying more money to keep their animals on the same land than they are to sell them to other buyers.
Some ranchers say that if prices don’t go up fast, it will put them in a bad financial position.
RICHARD HURT, PRESIDENT OF RACCOHOL AND BEVERAGE COMPANY: The more the prices go up, the harder it is to survive, and I don’t want to see this happen to anyone else.WOOD: Richard Hurt is the president of the National Association of Homebuilders.
He says prices are up for a number of reasons, including a rising cost of fuel and natural gas.
HURTS: I think it’s because people are just not paying attention to the prices of their fuel, and it’s a lot cheaper to burn oil in the desert than it is in the cities.WOOD, BYLINE: And then there’s the threat of climate change.
Some of the big ranchers worry that climate change could mean a hotter, drier future.
But some are already preparing for that.
RANCHER: The worst is yet to come, and we’ve got to have a plan.WOOD(ph): And then, on a ranch outside of the Dallas area, Richard Hurt sits on a wooden board reading his cattle futures.
He’s hoping prices will go up by a lot.
HIRTS: So we’ll just see how much we can raise.
And if we do, that’s great.
And it’s all part of a plan, I think.
But if prices go down, I don’ know.
And we’ll have to have some sort of plan to survive.WOOD:(Copyright 2017 NPR.
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