YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
What’s up with high beef prices?
By Jessica Domel
Beef prices. They’re at record highs.
Blame it on the drought. Dry times mean scorched pastures. Cattle have nothing to eat. Ranchers sell. That’s been happening for several years in Texas, the home to more cows than any other state. That meant lower beef prices for a while as many cattle were flushed into the market in a very short time.
But now the piper is being paid. Cattle numbers have reached an all-time low. Beef prices are at an all-time high. It’s the simple law of supply and demand.
The solution to high beef prices is more cows. Rains this past year have put many Texas ranchers in a position to expand herds.
But it takes time. Ranchers must keep heifer calves for breeding purposes. It takes up to two-and-a-half years for those heifers to have their own calves. The cow herd builds, more calves come to market and more beef moves through the meat case. That will mean lower prices for you.
Eventually. It will take some time to replace the 1.2 million cows sold because of dry times.
I’ll be patient, though. Meanwhile, I’ll throw another burger on the grill.
After all, there’s nothing quite like the great taste of beef!
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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