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Smaller herds mean higher beef prices


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) -  Beef prices will continue rising to the highest levels ever.

     South Dakota Beef Industry Council Executive director Ron Frederick says the U-S cattle herd is the smallest since the 1950’s.

     Frederick says drought in 2011 destroyed pastures in Texas, the top cattle producing state.  Feed grain prices shot through the roof the following year because of the driest conditions in the Midwest since the dirty 30's.  He says prices for energy, steel posts, vet bills, trailers, trucks and land costs have all gone up dramatically over the last 3 to 4 years.               

     Frederick says about 14 percent of U-S beef is sold overseas, a record. 

     While corn prices have dropped they are still higher than the average of the last two decades.

     Frederick says driving beef demand is going to be a challenge as consumers may turn to cheaper chicken and pork.