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For Malheur County ranchers, beef prices down, production up

A rancher moving his herd of cattle. (The Enterprise/file photo)

VALE – A mid-year assessment of the beef industry is like two sides of the same coin. 

On one side, overall beef production is good and demand remains steady. On the other side of the coin, beef prices for small and medium-sized producers still lag and imports are outpacing exports.

“Prices are not where they should be,” said Chris Christensen, Willowcreek rancher who is a district vice president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. Matt Rockwell, president of the Malheur County Cattlemen’s Association, agreed.

“While cattle prices might be up from recent lows, we are not where we need to be and you are seeing the smaller operators go out of business. They just can’t make it,” said Rockwell. 

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