Beef Prices Expected to Rise 10 Percent - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Beef Prices Expected to Rise 10 Percent

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) - Beef prices are expected to rise about ten percent by the summer. The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952.

It's the domino effect of the draught of 2011. Crops like corn, used to feed cattle, had low yields and fetched higher prices, so cattle ranchers were forced to thin their herds.

"It really made an effect of the whole market. As you'll see prices a year ago were touching maybe $3.10 a pound now we're just touching maybe 4 and quarter a pound," said Joey Badall with Prime Cuts.

Regardless of low supply, butchers say summertime always pushes the price of beef up, with more people buying steaks for the grill.

During Lent, more Americans buy fish, so beef should be competitively priced. But because it takes two years for cows to be raised and ready to eat, beef prices won't improve until cows in the pasture now are ready for slaughter.

"Within the next nine months to a year, you'll see the numbers start to go up from the production of cattle and in doing so, we'll start to see a decline in the cost of the beef," said
Zachary Surbrook, with Beef Barn.

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