From the ground up: Low cattle supply increases beef prices

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 11:16 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The next time you go to the grocery store, you might be a little shocked at the price of beef. The demand for beef grows every day, while farmers are having a hard time producing the cattle to meet consumers’ needs.

Brad Barrett works at a small cattle operation in Normangee and says the main problem is growing the hay it needs to feed his animals.

“It’s a very difficult time with the drought, and the high inflation and high fuel prices and things like that, so we’re all struggling right now trying to find enough hay enough feed to get our cattle through till when it does start to rain again,” says Barrett

The difficulty growing hay makes it hard to keep livestock. Ranchers are now having to offload a lot of their cattle in order to keep up with demand.

“They can’t afford to keep [them] around, those cattle have to have calves every year to be able to pay for themselves,” says Barrett. “Right now, as high as hay is, and feed, and fuel, everything, they are cutting back quite a bit on their numbers, which will definitely affect [things]. When this thing does turn back around, there’s going to be a lot fewer cattle in the pastures.”

Farmers are warning customers that they’re going to see a drastic increase in meat prices, and think the supply will continue will continue to decrease.