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Small herds, record exports cause high beef prices

By: Sarah Moon, AP Email
By: Sarah Moon, AP Email

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the average price for a pound of fresh beef is the highest it has been in at least 27 years.

MGN Online

MINDORO, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association said beef prices are at a record high.

Craig’s Meats and Catering in Mindoro said its prices for meats such as roast and hamburger are up 50 to 60 cents over the last month.

Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association President Austin Arndt said prices are up, because the U.S. cow herd is at a 63 year low.

He also said beef prices have increased, because the overseas demand in 2013 was the highest ever.

Craig’s Meats and Catering said right now it’s charging around $3.49 a pound for hamburger, but that could change.

“We can only hold it as long as that supply and demand is not pushing us into a corner,” said owner Gary Craig.

Craig’s Meats and Catering said some customers have been looking for alternatives to beef such as chicken and turkey.

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) -- The average price for a pound of fresh beef is the highest in at least 27 years.

That's according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Austin Arndt, president of the Wisconsin Cattlemen's Association reportedly says it's due to the lingering effects of drought in California, the Great Plains and Texas that have led to the smallest U.S. herd size in 60 years.

That coupled with record beef exports in 2013 means high prices nationwide.

The department says the average price for a pound of fresh beef reached $5.04 in January, the highest on records that date back to 1987.

Holmen Locker and Meat Market owner Scott Stettler says he's seen wholesale beef costs jump 60 cents a pound over the past few months.


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