Experts say cost of beef is rising, high prices to persist for a while

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MINNEAPOLIS — If you’re buying beef to throw on the grill this weekend, prepare to pay more. The cost of beef is going up, and some experts say the price will keep rising and stick around for a while.

Customers are constantly in and out of Ready Meats in northeast Minneapolis, picking up their favorite cut.

“We sell everything, beef, pork, chicken,” owner Dave Anderson said.

Anderson says people are changing their habits when it comes to beef as the price per pound is on the rise.

“It’s still moving, people are still buying it but it’s getting expensive,” Anderson said.

Kelly Schmidt is the CEO of Minnesota Beef Council. He says we’re in a cycle with a shorter supply of cattle.

“This is all because of weather conditions, drought conditions that have happened in the last number of years. Really when there’s not enough resources, pasture, hay or feed you’re going to see the cattle supply change,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt says it’s a simple case of supply and demand. There’s less cattle available and yet the willingness to pay for the beef is still here.

“On the other end the people producing it, we are seeing record high cattle prices as well because the processors in the middle that need the beef to get to the restaurants and stores, they’re really having to fight for that product. And when there’s not as many, we’re seeing better prices for the farmer and rancher,” Schmidt said.

Some of the higher costs are on premium steaks. If you’re looking for a more affordable beef option, Schmidt recommends buying burgers. sirloin, flat iron or skirt steak.

“They come here for the quality,” Anderson said.

Anderson says when his cost goes up a little, so does yours. And while beef is a big draw at his market, he says there are always options.

“We have patties, brats chicken, chicken is always a good value and pork, pork’s actually coming down,” Anderson said.

Schmidt says it takes about 15 months to repopulate the supply. That means we could see high prices hang around for another year or so.

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