Why beef prices continue to rise

Published 08/25 2014 05:17PM

Updated 08/27 2014 09:35AM

"If we don't have enough the prices go up."

Kelsey Barnard, owner of KBC Butcher Block knows first hand how expensive beef is today.

The price increase is due to droughts, disease and even theft of cattle. On average a pound of beef cost at least $3.50, which is up from last year. It may not seem like a lot, but if you're buying the whole cow it'll cost you more than you're use to paying. But if you get the cow for free you can charge double.

"There have been cases of cattle being stolen from all over Alabama Dekalb County was one of the big ones and Boaz as well. They stole $75,000 worth of cattle --that is a blow for a farmer,” said Barnard. “It's because now cows are so valuable that they can turn around and sell them for twice as much and they just snatched them."

So with beef prices rising it's causing consumers to pick other options.

"The demand for pork and chicken is rising daily now, because the more the beef prices go up the more people are going to be eating those items as well as sea food, sea food will probably do the same exact thing,” said Barnard.

Some people have even cut beef out of their diets completely because they can buy cheaper food.

"It makes me feel like I don't want to buy it anymore,” said mother of two Carshena Bain. “Everything has gone up and when it comes to groceries we try to do all we can to stay within a budget so sometimes that means throwing things out and beef is one of those things. We've just done more meats like chicken and fish and things like that that we can usually catch on sale more often that beef."

Barnard said she believes it'll be a while before beef prices go down. She said the farmers need time to reproduce and raise more cattle to keep up with the demand.

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