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Rising beef prices blamed on California drought

By Cassandra Arsenault, Reporter, CassandraArsenault@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Apr 15 2014 01:42:58 PM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2014 06:38:34 PM CDT

Beef prices going up due to drought

AROMAS, Calif. -

The severe drought across California is prompting a spike in beef prices at the grocery store.

With grilling season upon us, consumers won't be too happy to find that prices for beef products are on the rise and have a reached a record high.

Jim Warren has been a cattle rancher for 39 years, handling about 1,800 cows daily. He operates as something of a retail market for cattle - the producers bring him their cattle, and he sells it. 

Warren says business right now is great. He says he's selling about three or four times as many cattle this year as they normally would.

However, part of the reason they are selling so many is because producers are having to liquidate their herds due to the drought. With hay being expensive and grass dying out because of the lack of rain, many cattle farmers are finding themselves without sufficient feed for their animals.  That's prompting many to cut down their herd.

For consumers, this is creating higher-than-usual prices at the grocery store, where the price of ground beef has hit $3.55 per pound. That's the highest it's been in over twenty years.