Beef Prices On The Rise As Demand Soars
Everything from eggs to milk and butter are going up, but the most drastic price increase is the cost of beef.
Barb and Phil Watts are beef cattle farmers. They sell about 2000 head of cattle every year from their Licking County farm. They both agree that a growing worldwide demand for beef and less supply at home, have led to higher beef prices.
Phil Watts explained, "We are at 1950s lows in cattle numbers in the United States, there just aren't cattle out there because of droughts and shortages of feeds and forages."
Watts went on to say, ”The cattle are worth more to us, I mean we're selling at a higher price, but then input is more cause feeder calves are more, so it's put a lot of money into the beef industry altogether."
This, in return, puts more pressure to raise prices at the meat counter.
Owner of Carfagna’s Meats, Dino Carfagna, says it's a guessing game week to week, and as prices go up for them, they shop around and use their leverage with suppliers to cushion the blow to customers.
Carfagna says, "Meat is going to go up, people take it in stride, they really do, however we don't want to gouge."
Carfagna also discussed the importance of those trying to make healthier choices saying, "If they're going to eat beef, they'll eat a leaner beef, or go to ground beef and eat a hamburger instead of a T-bone."
Carfagna says that even though people may choose more pork, fish or chicken, there will always be a demand for beef, especially with grilling season right around the corner.
It is also speculated that high end restaurants are likely to raise prices, or cut their portion sizes. There is also a good chance that there will fewer beef items on fast food value menus in coming months.
The general agreement is that beef prices will stay higher, so the best advice is to shop around.