The number of cows in Texas, the United State's largest cattle producer, has decreased by 600,000 since January 1. The Texas AgriLife Extension Service attributes the fall to this year’s drought, the worst in Texas history, and says it is the largest drop in cattle numbers on record in any state. The decline represents 12 percent in an original population of 5 million and is a function of increased slaughter and the export of cattle to states with more grass. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated that the price of beef will increase by 5.5 percent in 2012.
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