Agricultural economist breaks down record high meat prices

May 21, 2014 by Lindsey Elliott

If you're cooking out this Memorial Weekend, plan on spending some extra money for your food, says a Kansas State University agricultural economist.

Glynn Tonsor, associate professor, says beef and pork prices are at an all-time high. Beef, which costs about $5.50 a pound, is 13 percent more compared to last year. Bacon and have increased by 15 percent.

Tonsor says several factors are contributing to the increased prices, such as the drought, the historically low number of cattle and recent animal health diseases.

"There are new concerns in 2014," Tonsor said. "We simply are producing less pork and that's showing up as less pork on the retail shelf. Couple that with strong demand, and we have notably higher prices."

Prices are steadily increasing in 2014. Meat prices in April were 3 percent higher than in March. Tonsor believes they will continue to increase for the rest of the year.

But despite the higher prices, consumers are still snatching burgers and bacon off the shelves.

"The public is willing to pay higher prices," Tonsor said. "They value the convenience, the freshness, the qualities that are in these ."

It could be awhile before beef prices come down.

"We have ongoing concerns with the drought and then a long biological lag for cattle," Tonsor said. "Even though we're trying to expand production, it takes multiple years. It's probably going to be 2016 before we see more pounds on the shelf in the beef complex."

Tonsor suggests comparing of meat products and consider buying alternate products, like bone-in instead of boneless, to save some money.

Explore further: ISU experts predict rise in 2013 grocery prices to reflect today's high grain costs

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Amateur paleontologist finds rare fossil of fish in Arizona

September 3, 2015

Growing up, Stephanie Leco often would dig in her backyard and imagine finding fossils of a tyrannosaurus rex. She was fascinated with the idea of holding something in her hand that was millions of years old and would give ...

X-rays reveal fossil secrets

September 3, 2015

A sophisticated imaging technique has allowed scientists to virtually peer inside a 10-million-year-old sea urchin, uncovering a treasure trove of hidden fossils.

Early human diet explains our eating habits

August 31, 2015

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.