The price of beef is about to reach new highs following last year’s record-setting drought in Texas and Oklahoma, which scorched pastures and decimated cow populations.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects the cost of beef to rise by 5 per cent in 2012, after a 10 per cent price increase in 2011, reports Paul Davidson of USAToday.
The department reported that the nation’s cattle herd—about 91 million as of Jan. 1—is the smallest since 1952, down 2 per cent from the previous year.
William Pack of The Houston Chronicle reports that Texas lost 660,000 cows, the largest single-year decline in beef cows since 1934.
A senior analyst at CattleFax told USAToday that the massive hit to livestock compounds long-standing problems, including high corn prices, rising property costs, and increased competition for land.
Meanwhile, America’s appetite for meat continues to grow.
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