Abilene cattle industry takes hit during pandemic

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The sounds of the slamming metal gates and the numbers going a mile a minute might seem a little chaotic at first glance.

For Tucker Teague, though, it’s just another Tuesday.

“My dad owns a feed lot in Colorado, my granddad was a cow buyer and every since I left A&M I’ve been buying cattle,” said Teague.

While the numbers go up and down every week at the Abilene Live Stock Auction, those in the seats haven’t seen anything quite like this.

“They’re kind of taking a price gouge,” said Teague.

The pandemic has affected those in the cattle industry, dropping the prices of both fat and feeder cattle.

“The packing houses are closed and when they normally kill 600 thousand a week and now they’re only killing 400 thousand a week,” said Teague.

This means those in the packing houses can be a little more picky on what they’re willing to pay because they know that farmers are just looking to get rid of their cattle.

“The packing houses can pretty much pay whatever they want,” said Teague.

While this may not have a huge impact on someone like Trevor Terrell, who comes to the auction once every month, for the guys that are in the seats every week, things hit a bit harder.

Teague says though that there’s always a bright side to look at knowing that anything that’s down has the opportunity to go up.

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