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Texas drought means higher prices for Ga. ranchers

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Authorities say Georgia cattle producers soon should see higher prices for their beef cattle due to a drought in Texas that's contributing to a shortage of cattle.

The Athens Banner-Herald reports that ranchers in Georgia are not expecting record profits. But they say the increased prices should help to cover the rising costs they've been paying to raise cattle over the past few years.

Dave Stewart, a Carlton cattle producer, says that while cattle prices are up, the price of hay, grain, fertilizer and fuel have also risen. As a result, he said producers will see more money from cattle prices but are paying more for expenses.

Cattle prices had been rising steadily because of skyrocketing exports of American beef and because the fewer farmers are raising beef cattle.