(Lincoln) -- Nebraska agriculture has surpassed Texas to become the top state for cattle feeding.
“This is a milestone for our modern and progressive agricultural industry,” Gov. Dave Heineman tells reporters during a conference call.
Heineman is joined by Agriculture Director Greg Ibach in stating the key to climbing to number one is the coordination among the state cattle feeding, corn, and ethanol industries; sometimes referred to as the golden triangle of Nebraska agriculture.
“We might almost have a diamond here in Nebraska with our cattle processing industry,” Ibach says. “We can grow it, feed it, harvest it, and ship it all over seas right here from Nebraska, which gives us a great advantage.”
The news came in the form of the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service monthly national report, Cattle on Feed, for feedlots above 1,000 head capacity.
Texas has been the top cattle state, both in feedlots and in pastures. But, on February 1st, Nebraska counted 2.46 million head of feeder cattle, 20,000 more than Texas.
Head counts can fluctuate and Nebraska could give up such a slim lead. Yet, the state feedlots haven’t surpassed Texas before.
State officials discount suggestions that the severe, lingering drought in Texas had a big impact on the numbers.