High beef prices leave many with less cash in pocket

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by Bryan Shaw

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 17 at 5:53 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Since Christmas beef prices have jumped. The reason behind it is that cattle farmers have had to cut back because the price of feed has gone up so much.

The feed prices have gone up because of two years of lousy weather in the mid-west.  An extreme drought hurt the corn crop in 2012 and then flooding issues in the spring of 2013 hindered the growing season again.

“We are down to cattle numbers that we had in 1952.  So we are very, very low. That is coupled with internationally the Chinese have had a disease in cattle.  World production of cattle and world numbers of cattle are very low,” Maynard Stetten, a cattle farmer in Oldham County, said.

Curt Lange, the owner of Frank's Meat and Produce said that in the past year the price of a choice rib eye has gone up over $2, from $6.25 to $8.65 a pound but he says he can't push that increase on his customers.

“The consumer is only going to take so much, right now you are selling a lot of pork and a lot of chicken and backing off beef because it is getting expensive and I am not getting near the margins that I was a year ago,” Lange said.

There still is an increase and people have to eat so that means cut backs in other areas.

Corn prices are actually starting to drop but it is going to be some time before the consumer will see that. Cattle farmers have to make up for a couple of years of lost profits. 
 

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