High Beef Prices Attributed to Drought
April 18, 2014

Dry conditions in Colorado and other western states are a huge reason that beef prices are at an all-time high. As drought conditions - which started in 2002 but got worse in recent years - made feeding cattle more expensive, producers started selling their herd.

"When it gets to the point where you're losing money on those animals, you just can't continue to produce them," Brad Rock with Box Elder Ranch in Yuma County said. "When you're looking at $700 an animal, to $1,500 an animal, that's an actual big hit on your cash flow."

Each head of cattle has doubled in price, he says. He worries that consumers will flee from beef as prices for them rise, as well.

Cattle Fax, a group that analyzes the beef industry, says that consumers can expect higher prices for ground beef and steaks.

For ground beef, expect prices this year 10-15 percent higher than last year, said Kevin Good, a senior market analyst with CattleFax. Expect steak to be 5-10 percent more expensive this year, he says.

Reprinted in part from 9News