The 106-year-old R.A. Brown Ranch will ship hundreds of beef cows, bred heifers and bulls 1,300 miles to Montana.
Like a latter-day version of the 19th-century cattle drives by Charles Goodnight and Jesse Chisholm, tens of thousands of dogies are moving north.
But these are not lean longhorn steers hoofing it across the Red River under the watchful eyes of saddle-sore, dollar-a-day cowboys and ending up at a slaughterhouse gate. Rather, they are expensive breeding stock being driven in heavy cattle trailers at a trucking rate of $3.75 a mile toward rain-fed pastures. Many may eventually return to Texas.
Dwindling water supplies and parched range caused by the state's devastating drought are forcing Brown and such large, storied ranches as the Spade, Moorhouse, Swenson and the 6666 to move a good portion of their seed stock.
Things are bad here in Texas in case you required roof. Produce is up due to worst drought in 44 years and counting; look for beef to keep rising.
Also see: Cattle Seen at Record $1.36 per Pound as Drought Reduces Herd: Commodities