Recent droughts send cattle prices to highest levels since 1987
POSTED: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 9:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Beef prices are soaring, and in February they hit record highs. While it's welcome news for ranchers and farmers, it's bad news for those looking forward to the upcoming grilling season.
"The feeder cattle prices are at an all time high, fat cattle prices are at all time highs. It's strictly supply and demand," says Brad Klostergaard of South Dakota's Sioux Falls Regional Livestock.
Demand for beef is at an all time high, mainly because years of drought have cut herds to their lowest levels in more than 60 years.
"Our numbers are lower now than they were in the 1950s," Klostergaard says.
That means livestock producers are getting paid, But that also means it's coming out of someone else's pocket. In February, the cost of USDA choice-grade beef reached a record retail price of $5.28 per pound, compared to nearly $5.00 at the same time last year, and nearly $4 in 2008. That's the highest price for beef since 1987.
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