New public concerns about U.S. beef safety is another issue farmers will have to deal with, said Keenan Bishop, Franklin County extension agent for agriculture.
In the wake of the United States announcement Tuesday that a cow in Mabton, Wash., tested positive for mad cow disease, more than 15 countries have imposed a ban on U.S. beef imports.
"It's always something," Bishop said Friday.
With income from tobacco farming dropping off, cattle production was something farmers had turned to for survival.
"This past year has been excellent as far as beef cattle prices," Bishop said. "We have had an excellent year for grass production, and were able to graze a lot of cattle. Whereas, out West, they've had a drought and their numbers have been declining."
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