Ethanol to blame for increase in meat prices

Beef prices up 11 percent from last year

If you’ve been in a grocery store, you’ve seen what has been going on with meat prices.
 
"We have to readjust our budget,” said shopper Sandra Beekmann.
 
She’s probably isn’t alone.
 
According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, prices have hit an all-time high with fish up 4.2 percent since last spring and pork up 9.4 percent.
 
Ground beef is the worst – up 11 percent.
 
"Our cow numbers as a nation today stand at the same number they were in 1951," said Dennis Carlton, one of the largest beef producers in the state.
 
He said besides the numbers, the cost of land, the cost of fertilizer, and the cost of transportation has all contributed to the rapidly rising cost of beef. But none of those is the main issue.
 
Carlton said the main reason prices are going up has everything to do with feed, and that has everything to do with gas. According to Carlton, you can blame fuel with 10 percent ethanol, usually made from corn.
 
We are burning our cattle feed in our cars, he said.
 
"Our base price for feed has hit a new plateau," Carlton said. "Last year it was the highest it had ever been."
 
He doesn't see prices getting any cheaper, and he feels by this time next year it will be up even higher.
 
For people like Sandra and her family, that means cutting back. 
 
"Going out for a nice dinner, for example, that doesn't happen to often anymore because we have to buy groceries," she said.
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