Texas Panhandle wildfire impact on meat prices

Waco, TX (FOX 44) — Ranchers are having to start from scratch as the Panhandle moves past the largest wildfire in Texas history.

The Texas Farm Bureau says over 7,000 cattle and nearly 1.2 million acres were lost in the Panhandle wildfires.

While the panhandle is a large producer of livestock, experts say it won't affect prices we see in the store.

"The greater Texas agricultural economy is not seeing so much of a direct impact, and we as consumers are not seeing the impact and shouldn't see the impact at grocery store prices and the prices we're paying for goods," said Texas Farm Bureau Spokesperson Gary Joiner.

Joiner with Texas Farm Bureau says economic impacts from the Panhandle wildfires will stay within the region.

Joiner adds the number of affected cattle is only a small fraction of the nation.

"The U.S. cattle market is large in size and scope. The numbers are very significant. The impact from the wildfires in the Panhandle will not really move that dynamic because the numbers are not large enough," said Joiner.

Cow-calf ranch operations are reported to be the most impacted by the wildfires.

Joiner says processing facilities in the Panhandle are still operating.

"Those were not impacted by the wildfires, so those operations continuing are the meat that we see in the grocery store. The beef that we see in the grocery store here in central Texas is sourced from many of those areas that finish and feed those cattle," said Joiner.

Texas Farm Bureau created a Panhandle wildfire relief fund to help farmers in need.

Click here to donate.

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