From the Ground Up - High Beef Prices

If you enjoy a grilling good steak, or making hamburgers at home, and you do the grocery shopping, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the price of beef has gone up.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve seen, we’ve added an additional dollar to what a pound of beef costs you at the retail level, a dollar plus, so as a consumer we see that all at the retail counter.”

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Beef Cattle Specialist Jason Cleere says when you couple that with an economic recession and flat wages there’s a price point at which consumer demand will weaken.

“Well, instead of being able to buy as much beef, now we got to back off beef and substitute with the lower cost meat protein source like pork or chicken and as beef producers our concern is, if we lose those, how do we get them back?”

Input costs have risen dramatically in the last ten years.

“A lot of it’s tied to fuel prices, oil prices. Fertilizer prices have gone up dramatically. Feed costs just in the last five years, the cost of supplemental feed that producers will feed during the winter time, to make it through the winter months have doubled.”

For now, domestic demand for beef has remained steady, and a growing global demand has kept prices high.

“So it is a balancing act, even as ranchers, producers, we enjoy the higher value of our cattle, and to be honest with you with our input costs we need those high values, but where that balance is you know it’s the law of supply and demand there, and that balance or what that peak is, it will be interesting to see what it will be in the future.”

I’m Kailey Carey, looking at Brazos valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.