The beef with the rising price of cattle

TYLER (KYTX) - If you've shopped for meat lately, you've probably noticed the prices are going up.

The reason you're seeing those prices go up is related to the drought we had in Texas.

Ranchers are rebuilding herds, and that means there's less beef to stock your freezer over the last few years you've added at least a dollar per pound.

Customers like David Dodson come to Country Meat Market in Tyler to get grass fed beef with a local touch.

"Had to get me some to try out, see how comes out on the grill," says Dodson.

He skipped the beef today, and got links because he knows beef is expensive.

"A lot of stuff here is local, so we had to take down signs and quit selling items because it wasn't available," says Tim Benson, the assistant manager at Country Meat Market.

Benson says their stock of local grass-fed beef has more than dwindled since the drought.

"We probably have 5-700 pounds of inventory right now," says Benson.

When asked how long that would last, "maybe 3 to 4 days."

If you were to buy grass-fed ground beef at Country Meat Market it would be $7.99 pound. If you bought regular ground beef at the grocery store it would be $3.99 pound. Still up from last year.

"The demand is strong, the prices we're seeing in the supermarket are strong, but there's not a lot of economic incentive right now for cattle ranchers to expand their herds," says Eldon White with the Cattle Raisers Association.

The Cattle Raisers Association says it has to do with higher fuel and feed as well as higher international demand.

All equating to a shrinking supply in Texas.

"Going to take at least two more years and that's going to put us at 4 years from the drought," says Benson.

"Try to meet my budget. If it's too high, I leave it at the store," says Dodson.

Of course, those price increases of food, fuel and demand are all trickled down to your plate in the end.

We spoke with a local restaurant owner today who said he'd seen prices shoot to two and three times as much as they have been in the recent past.

Some analysts say prices for cattle could climb as well.

Up another 4 to 5 percent this year.


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