Sonoran cattle exports expected to drop significantly as fallout from drought

By Murphy Woodhouse
Published: Monday, May 9, 2022 - 10:14pm
Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 - 9:05am

Sonoran Drought
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
A cowboy wrangles cattle at an auction at the Sonoran Regional Cattle Union headquarters.

The ongoing drought in neighboring Sonora is impacting cattle exports from the major agricultural state.

After a terrible 2020 monsoon season, many ranchers in Sonora felt forced to sell off significant portions of their herds, including young, productive animals. And now the consequences of the desperate selloff are coming due, with industry leaders predicting a decline of some 30 percent in exports. Federal data show substantially lower exports nationwide over the first three months of 2022 than those seen in recent years.

“Sadly, this didn’t end with the rains,” said Jesus Ancheta, marketing director for the state’s cattle union, referring to last year’s much better monsoons.

Lower exports don’t just mean reduced revenues for ranching families, but also other sectors that serve the industry.

Fronteras Sonora