Local Beef Prices May Rise Due to Drought | News
SHAWNEE, Kan. — Our current Midwestern drought rages on, and Kansas City area farmers are feeling the burn. Now, you can prepare to share the burden, and pay more for beef at the grocery store.
Dodge City Beef owner Heidi Hullman-Davis spent much of her youth on a cattle ranch in Central Kansas. Drought conditions on the family farm are forcing her to raise prices in her Shawnee-based store. She forsees the cost of prime beef cuts going up by as much as 10 percent.
“I would say five to 10 percent is going to cover most of our costs. However, across the board, it could increase food costs up to 30 percent,” Hullman-Davis said.
Nancy Robinson says any cost increase might be premature. She’s worked for the Livestock Marketing Association for 23 years. She says farmers are taking cows to auction much sooner than usual since feed is hard to come by. That’s forcing herds of cattle onto the market, and could actually drive costs down for the near future.
“I’d be surprised if you’ll see increases at the meat counter immediately,” Robinson said. “In fact, you may see lower prices in November and December. Then in January, once this glut of animals that have come to the market die off, then you’ll see the effects of the drought and the sale of the livestock.”
Hullman-Davis adds that the cost increase is unlikely to apply to ground beef, as it comes from an area of the cow that isn’t as easily affected by the ongoing drought conditions.