A combination of factors, including drought and the smallest cattle herd in years, are expected to cause beef prices to rise in 2014. According to experts, the drought affecting ranchers for the last 3 years has caused them to sell off cattle so they have enough resources for their remaining cattle. Because of this sell-off, the U.S. cattle herd is the smallest it has been in 6 decades, according to an article from Bloomberg Businessweek. Apparently ranchers are now holding back some of their breeding cows from the market so they can increase the herd size, but it can take a few years for those calves to reach slaughter weight.
Beef prices could rise as much as 4% this year with increases already taking place on store shelves. Now might be a good time to put a little extra beef in the freezer if you find a great deal. Although we do not eat much red meat, rising prices would certainly encourage my family to enjoy more meatless meals.
Will you change your red meat consumption if prices continue to increase?