Drought Causing Rise in Meat Prices
Updated: Monday, October 1 2012, 11:20 PM EDT
Meat has a pride of place at Jamie Stachowski's Butcher shop in Washington. Ham, pastrami, steak, it is all available at the butcher shop. But with prices for pork and beef expected to rise next year, consumers will have to pay more or get used to new cuts.
The worst drought in decades means higher costs for animal feed and lower profits for farmers. Farms, like the one in Maryland near the West Virginia line, have already had to raise prices to keep up.
Julie Gray Stinar raises cattle, hens and hogs in her farm near the West Virginia border. A third of her costs go to animal feed, which is mostly corn and soy. Prices for chicken and pig feed have skyrocketed since July.
She is now charging a dollar a pound more for her sausage, pork chops and bacon and plans to switch from corn-based hog feed to sorghum to save money.
Since she does not raise boiler chickens, in winter Stinar is hoping to avoid the worst of the price spike for their feed. And unlike most farmers, she grass feeds her cattle meaning she will not have to worry about high grain prices.