The drought of 2011 forced many cow-calf producers in the U.S. Southern Plains to liquidate cow herds. Rebuilding cow herds poses financial challenges for many, perhaps most, producers. While liquidation strategies varied between individuals, producers who completely liquidated breeding herds will likely face significant cash flow challenges to rebuilding. Here, we develop and analyze three rebuilding strategies, including slow-rebuilding using summer stockers, fast-rebuilding by purchasing bred cows or cow-calf pairs, and cow leasing with heifer retention. Our analyses indicate that rebuilding appears to be financially feasible for producers with healthy pre-drought financial positions.


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