Small Herd Size Causes Beef Prices To Rise

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HORTON (WILX)-- Beef, it's what's for dinner. Unless you've noticed that prices are at an all-time high, then you might be skipping it.

Beef prices are up two percent from 2013, and are averaging more than five dollars per pound according to the USDA.

It's not going to stop there. The USDA predicts it could go up another four percent this year.

Why is beef so expensive? Farmers say it's supply and demand. There's a big demand, but not enough supply.

"That (the prices) are the highest since I've been farming. Not enough calves are being brought to the market, and It's because of the drought two years ago," said Mark Sears, cattle farmer.

The 2012 drought caused farmers to sell more of their herds than they normall would. As a result, this years national herd size is the smallest it's been in fifty years.

Farmers are now focusing on building their herds back up. The hope is the calves born this spring will bring the price back down next summer when they're brought to market.

The Michigan Beef Industry Commission says until the prices go back down consumers shouldn't have to give up beef, just be smarter about what they buy.

"There is a steak for every budget," said Quackenbush.

(To find tips about how to save money on beef click on the link>>>)

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