Beef Prices May Jump 10 Percent By Summer

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Grilling burgers may be more expensive than usual this year, as the drought of 2012 gives new meaning to "cash cow."

Remember last fall when there was a brief panic about bacon prices? It’s beef’s turn.

Beef prices have gone up an average of $1 per pound since 2007, and they’re headed toward an average of $4.85 a pound this year, according to experts.

The worst drought in 50 years is to blame, as we warned last summer.  U.S. cattle herds are thinning because farmers can’t afford as much corn to feed them. And it’s a problem without a quick solution. According to Reuters, even a sudden expansion in the number of cattle wouldn’t impact production for two and a half years.

Chicken prices have also reached record levels, though it’s still a much cheaper alternative to beef. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, a group representing beef producers, are worried beef will become a luxury item like lobster, according to USA Today. That article has a good recommendation – stock up on and freeze meat before prices head higher.

Stacy Johnson

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