Mexico struggles under record drought

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Devastating drought conditions in Mexico have left millions of livestock without food and destroyed millions of crop acreage, according to reports from several media outlets.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that more than 3.7 million acres of agriculture have succumbed to the drought. Starving cattle are reportedly roaming roadways in search of food, with cattle ranchers in the northern states especially hard-hit by the drought. People have abandoned entire towns to flee the drought. No deaths have been reported, but some towns are at risk of losing drinking water, according to the Journal.

For 2011, US beef cattle imports are forecasted to have totaled 2.075 million head, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook. This number is 9 percent below 2010 levels. The report said that the seasonal fall peak in US cattle imports from Mexico was pronounced as imports surged in November to more than 189,000 head. Drought extending from Southern Plains down to Northern Mexico, in addition to strong feeder cattle prices, drove the increased imports from Mexico in 2011.

Mexico revised its corn harvest forecast, as the effects of the drought became increasingly evident, according to Reuters. The corn harvest is expected to total 20 million tonnes of white corn and 1.8 million tonnes of yellow corn in 2012, compared to the 25 million tonnes previously forecasted.

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