Arkansas cattle industry on rebound after drought

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas ranchers are rebuilding their herds after culling animals during a lengthy drought.

The state's cattle industry suffered $128 million in damage in a 2012 drought, the economic effects of which stretched into 2013.

Nationally, cattle numbers are the lowest they have been since 1951. Arkansas producers had 4 percent more cattle in January as they did one year previously. Federal statistics show Arkansas has 1.66 million head, part of the 86.7 million head nationally.

Cattle expert Tom Troxel of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture says the 2012 drought cause a 4 percent decline in Arkansas cattle last year. Nationally, the cattle inventory dropped 2 percent.

The Arkansas cattle industry is poised to recover as the state is almost 100 percent free of drought.

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