Beef Prices Hit All Time High

A nationwide cattle shortage means you can expect higher prices coming soon to your local grocery store...if they haven't hit already.
by Victoria Price

LUBBOCK, TX -- A nationwide cattle shortage means beef prices are hitting record highs. The problem is persistent drought means fewer pastures, and less grain, to feed cattle. Low cattle numbers, the lowest since the 1950s, mean high cattle prices.

And that, means a bigger price tag on the beef that you buy.

"We sold some $1.07 packer cows last week," says Tony Mann, owner of the Lubbock Stockyards. "I've never in 32 years since a packer cow bring in $1.07."

Those higher prices have a trickle down effect...right into your grocery cart. The USDA reports the average price for a pound of beef in the U.S. is at $5.04.

"The packing house, the grocery stores, the middlemen, the steak places too, they've got to absorb this price," Mann says.

Lubbock's United Supermarkets says they've tried to ease into the price spikes, but, there's only so much they can do?

"We are very committed as a company to make it as painless as we possibly can to the consumer," says United's Director of Communications, Eddie Owens. "But obviously at some point in time, those things are inevitable."

But, if you're a savvy shopper, Owens says it is possible to minimize the pinch on your pocketbook.

"One of the biggest things we always encourage is to buy bulk when they can," he says. "I will be honest though, this is beef country. Folks are going to buy their beef as much as they possibly can."

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