Beef, Meat Prices Continue To Rise - - No One Gets You Closer

Beef, Meat Prices Continue To Rise

ARDMORE, OK -- We've seen how drought conditions effect crops for some time, but they're also impacting how much you pay for meat.

From the pasture to the checkout counter prices for beef continue to go skyward.

"It just seems like it's going to get worse," said Andy Butler, manager at Butler's processing. "I mean everything just keeps going up. I don't know where it's going to stop."

Experts at the Noble Foundation say the reason for price hikes is due in large part to drought, which has affected feed crops for the cattle

"Beef producers have been reluctant to increase numbers because of forage supplies being very small," said Dan Childs, an agriculture economist.

Owners at Ernie's Meat Market in Ardmore say they're trying to keep prices low for their customers.

"There's week to week where that they go down and go up," said Doug Kirk, owner at Ernie's. "Then your in cuts they'll go up and down also. Right now everything's high and it's going to stay high it looks like."

Some Texomans who raise beef are ditching grocery stores all together.

"It costs too much," said Butler. "It's cheaper to have one processed than it is to go to the store and buy it."

To pay less for your next hamburger or favorite cut of steak, agriculture economists say help will have to come from above.

"We need Mother Nature to cooperate with us before we can increase beef cow numbers," said Childs.

But Childs says demand continues to remain high.

"People are still going to eat," said Kirk. "They're going to eat different. They're going to eat a little cheaper. "There's probably not as many leftovers on the table."

Childs says if conditions continue, consumers can expect high beef prices for another 2 to 3 years.