Meat prices, especially beef
prices, are on the rise.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
OCONOMOWOC - While many reasons are being
suggested for why meat and dairy prices are increasing, owners
of local meat shops aren’t worried about the effects on their
owner of the Sausage Haus Meat & Deli in Oconomowoc, said the
price of pork and beef is supposed to increase greatly, but he
doesn’t know exactly why. Several reasons are being offered up
for the increases, including the shortage of feed and the number
of cattle that froze to death in North Dakota last year, he
said. Other factors being blamed are the drought in the
Southeast and the harsh winter keeping ranchers from taking
their cattle to the slaughter.
to Wednesday, Jerabek said the price for grinding meat went up
12 cents per pound. Cheese also has gone up about 40 cents per
pound, he said.
According to a
Jan. 17 report by the United State Department of Agriculture,
the cold weather much of the country has experienced has also
negatively affected cattle body maintenance and gains.
“While most of
the extreme cold weather has been in the Central Plains and
farther north, wheat with snow cover will likely be protected
from much of the winter injury and will eventually benefit from
the precipitation, while wheat without snow cover is likely to
be adversely affected to some degree. These factors could
increase feeding costs for most cow-calf producers, stocker
operators, and cattle feeders for the short run,” according to
the USDA’s website, the price for a pound of ground chuck in
January 2014 was $3.59, compared to $3.41 in January 2013. It
was $4.20 per pound in January 2014, compared to $3.70 the same
period a year before, according to the USDA. Sliced bacon has
also gone up in price, according to the USDA, with a pound of it
costing $5.56 in January 2014, compared to $4.72 a year prior.
output is forecast to decline 5.7 percent in 2014, according to
struggled to recover from 2012’s drought, the worst since the
1930s and almost half of Texas - the biggest cattle-producing
state - is still in drought,” according to a Jan. 2 report by
the Institute of Food Technologists. “Higher prices will raise
costs for retailers and consumers may pay as much as 3.5 percent
more for beef in 2014.”
price increases, Jerabek isn’t worried because he sees
fluctuation in the prices every year.
have to eat,” he said. “You try to do the best you can.”
the Sausage Haus is how the business doesn’t rely only on meat
sales, but also offers catering services.
of Roberts’ Specialty Meats in Waukesha said pricing is partly
due to supply and demand, so he encourages consumers not to buy
meat items if they are overpriced, which will in turn cause the
prices to decrease. Roberts said he won’t buy a product if it’s
too expensive because he doesn’t want to pass that increase on
to his customers, and will buy it again once the item decreases
rising costs of meat and dairy, Roberts said there are deals to
be had, especially when shopping local.
businesses are going to be looking for the diamond in the rough
and they are the guys who will find it,” he said. “We are going
to find the best deal on the market.”
about being a savvy consumer, Roberts said. In the meat
industry, the items not in season are what are available for the
best price. Right now, that means Roberts is able to offer
T-bone and porter house steaks at a sale price.
While the meat
shops appear ready to weather the market fluctuations, Jerabek
said he heard restaurants are having a harder time because they
can’t change their menu prices daily to reflect the market.
lining Jerabek pointed out is that this is already the slowest
time of the year.
getting charge cards from Christmas and then they look at the
mirror and say I am fat and cut back on their eating,” he said.
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