The ongoing drought and low cattle supply continues to keep bee - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

The ongoing drought and low cattle supply continues to keep beef prices up

Posted: Updated:
Amarillo,TX - Barbecue season is coming up. Most people are going to want burgers and steaks for grilling season. But those burgers and steaks won't be as inexpensive as people might think. 

The price of beef has jumped from about $4.90 to well over $5 a pound this year. 

West Texas A&M University economics professor, Dr. Neil Meredith says he doesn't expect the price to come down any time soon. 

Which has many people asking 'Why'? 

Jason Slane with the Texas Cattle Feeders Association says the reason behind high beef prices is because we have a decreasing overall cattle supply. 

Which is the lowest cattle supply since the 1950's. 

Slane adds the ongoing drought across much of the country is responsible for the small herds. 

"The last few years have probably been more severe than the historical norm due to the drought that we saw in Texas and the region." said Slane.

And this has worried Dan Lee, co-owner of The Big Texan. 

"Instead of buying a steak for a dollar, we are having to pay $1.30-$1.50 on the same cut of meat. That does affect us," said Lee. 

Because of this, The Big Texan tries to utilize every price of meat they have. 

"We take one of those steaks that are only 2 ounces and put them together to make steak sliders. So, we're getting more creative on our menu," said Lee. 

But heavy beef prices can give people the opportunity to try other meats.

"Grill out chicken more, or pork, or seafood. Those substitute meats also affect the beef market," said Meredith.