TYLER (KYTX) - The price of beef is skyrocketing. And the winter weather all over the country is being blamed.
The shelves and freezers at country meat market are stocked. But cold weather hitting the country, is putting a dent in the supply...
"Cattle production is off all over the united states," said Jim Mantooth, the store manager at Country Meat Market. He said it's been a challenge getting a hold of beef products.
"I'm just keeping a heavier inventory to make sure I have what the customer wants."
The winter conditions hitting the US have made it hard to ship cattle to packaging plants, and some plants have had to scale back or stop operations. In addition to that, in northern states it's been hard getting the hay and corn needed to feed the animals.
"It looks like it's going to continue to rise."
It's those issues that are the leading cause for rising beef costs.
"My prices would raise sometimes $0.05-$0.10 a pound I'm getting $0.50 and $0.60 a pound increase on some items.
In December of 2013 the average cost of a pound of ground beef in the US was about $3.50 cents.This month, the same pound of beef could cost $4 or more.
"If I can buy it now I can save some money if I buy it next week or the following week, it's going to go up and I can pass those savings on to the customer."
Mantooth says, buying ahead of time is a practice consumers should follow for themselves -- freezing their supplies if they can.
He says this beef shortage is the worst it's been in years. And fears that even as warmer weather approaches, the costs could remain high until production levels out.