Rising Costs of Meat-Are you feeling the effect yet?

Last weekend, my Step-dad was in the “big city” for work and we did a meet up for a visit, lunch and then to give him a ride to the airport, one of our stops from his downtown hotel was the big local farmer’s market, and as I looked at the booths, I was going a little wide eyed. The costs on meat was up, Up and UP. I was surprised to see grass feed lamb, organic but not certified(so eqaul to how I raise my own animals) and the cheapest was 2.99 a pd with the highest cut being 16.99 a pd, to which I say.. good heavens!

Whole Frozen Chickens/Turkeys/Ducks all raised like mine, and running right around 5 dollars a pd, and then there was the beef, o my, the costs of the beef was breathtakingly crazy to me. 

I didn’t see any available rabbit but I know that at our really good local butcher shops a 4 pds dressed out whole rabbit will run between 20 to 25 dollars per.

So this morning on the radio, they were talking Beef on the rise, so here is some of what they said, in Canada, when the border was locked down, the price on beef dropped as low as the seller getting 10 cents per pds in 2002 or 2003.

Lets jump forward on to some reason why we are seeing such high prices and why I don’t think that the price will be going down any time soon.

  •  currently getting 65 cents per pd in my local area, which is up to a full 55 cent per pds increase for the farmers.
  • Less farmers, less cows, since 2003-2004, we currently have 1.5 million less cows on farms, that means 1.5 million less calves per year being born.
  • Farmers switching from Cow/Calf to Cash Cropping, Soy and Corn being the main crops being done as the rising prices on these crops mean that more money is to be made.

Interestingly, the farmer said that the bigger stores were in fact taking on some of the higher costs at the meat counter so that they could raise the prices slower, as there are consumer studies that say that if you raise things 3% that the will grumble but still buy but if it jumps 5% or more on a single item, that the rumbles will grow loud enough to make them choose to look for a cheaper cut of meat or a different meat altogether.

Other costs that add to rising prices that they didn’t talk about, but I am sure they figure in as well.

  • Rising feed costs
  • Rising Vet Costs
  • Rising Hydro Costs
  • Rising Gas Prices
  • Rising Costs on All Fencing materials, when we fenced our first pasture four years ago, we paid 180 for that roll of sheep fencing, the second pasture those same rolls cost us 210, the third pasture, the same fencing cost 260, and this year, that same roll is now listed at 300. Of course to be honest, I have never paid full price, I always buy only when our local feed store puts them on sale twice a year typically 25 to 35 percent off.. still that is one huge hike in price!

So let me hear from you? Are you seeing the same increases in your area, your country? Do you eat beef? If so, are you buying less? What are you replacing it with, a different meat? or are you eating less meat? For those with land, are you looking hard at any spare peice of land and working to figure out how to grow your own protein on it? If this is the effect on regular prices, what does this mean for the local prices in regards to “organic beef” which is typically sold at least 30% higher.

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11 Responses to Rising Costs of Meat-Are you feeling the effect yet?

  1. Andrea says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Beef is amazingly expensive in my area. Chicken is still fairly reasonable as is pork, but prices are going up on both. I think we may return to eating buffalo from a local farm…the flavor is amazing and the price for organic, free range, grass fed buffalo isn’t much more than questionable mass-market beef. Okay, and I’ve been eye-ing a cow in the pasture down the road….may have to talk to the farmer this summer 🙂

    • Interesting to know that prices appear to be going up everywhere and I agree, I really like Buffalo (we call them Bison), I have always enjoyed the way it tastes alot. In our area, the only thing that I would consider still reasonable would be pork.

  2. DEE says:

    We are raising our own beef again. Have plenty of pasture so have a Angus out there who will be butchered this fall after the orchard is done as we like to finish with apple and pear windfalls. Her replacement is here already. Neighbor raises cattle and actually we got both for cheap as they were one of twins that the mom refused so we raised ’em up from a few days old. He hasn’t the time to fiddle with bottles. Plan to buy a couple of lambs now that we’ve fenced the orchard. Have meat chickens and might even get a couple of piglets if we can find the time to make a stout pen. Plus have a Jersey d/t freshen June 12. And in hunting season we always try to get our limit. Just putting more effort in food production –did it all when all the kids were home but have slacked off in the past few years. Prices are going thru the roof. Grain high but would rather spend my dollars on grain and know where my meat comes from. We don’t eat meat everyday anyhow. DEE

    • Nope, really busy full time farmers don’t seem to want to keep those little bottle babies much do they? But that can be a very good thing for those of us that want to raise up one for our freezer.

      I am looking forward to having fresh lamb in the freezer. We don’t eat meat at every meal but most meals do have some form of protein, but not always.

      Grain is indeed getting very high in costs, but I am planning on growing even more of my own this year for the critters.

  3. I try not to buy much meat from the store, but often do. The only thing that’s now economical is pork, and mainly pork butts. Pork butt is yummy, but I dont want to live on it. The lady that I buy eggs from will have meat chickens for $2.60lb in July so we’re having some of those. We bought 1/4 cow for $3.75lb rail weight last year, but I dont think those people have grown any for this year, so I am having to keep my eyes open for good deals. Lamb is never less than $7 lb for any cut and any that do pop up on craigslist are gone before you can type “yes please”. Duck is over$20 per duck, which I wont pay. We eat a lot of meat, stretching small amounts to feed a crowd will be my life’s work I think. Living on a suburban lot, we are not even allowed chickens. DH catching the odd fish is a help, but wont ever make a huge difference.

    • Wow, all lamb for seven or more, that is costly, I am surprised you can’t get it cheaper then that for certain cuts, I do agree, pork is very reasonable, I can’t raise my own pig for near as cheap as you can buy it but I like to know what my critters were feed and how they are treated comes in for me as well.

      That’s not a bag price on the chickens, better then some I have seen lately that is for sure.. Duck is well over 20 here as well. I have been thinking about adding in some fishing as well, we certainly have enough waterways around us that seem to have lots of folks out fishing on them.

      • I cant imagine the pork from the store has had any kind of a fun or happy life, sadly. The egg lady says there are no decent piglets for sale around here, seems no one is interested in breeding them for sale to others to grow on. Her chooks are cheaper than the store and will have been happy and antibiotic free. I keep toying with the idea of aqua culture, but cant help feeling that on a small scale it wouldnt self regulate very well and would require lots of chemicals to keep the fish healthy and they would need some support in the winter to help them not freeze. Maybe worms is the way to go!!!

  4. The only affordable meat anymore is pork. We’ve ordered a full pig from a local farmer – final cost will be $250 because we’re doing most of the cutting and curing and such ourselves. We’ll be getting everything except the organs, and I intend to use every single bit of it!

    When stewing hens show up for $1/pound, I grab as many as I can and make chicken broth/stewed chicken, which I pressure can and we use for stew and soup.

    As much as we love beef, I just can’t see it being a viable part of our diet much longer. It’s been a long time since I’ve bought anything except ground beef and now that’s up to $4 and $5/pound.

    • Hi C.D.

      I will be very interested to read how many pds of what you get for your 250, I can see snapping up those hens at that price, I can certainly see your point about the ground beef, I have to admit that I am happy at the idea that I will have a calf a year to raise for beef from Girl for hopefully around 14 plus years, both because I expect that the price of beef will continue to rise but also because I expect that I could sell half of the meat to others and easily cover my own raising costs, plus have half a beef in the freezer or the celler for my own use.

      • I’ve just been offered half a cow for $3.25lb rail weight, sadly, we cant store or eat a whole half 😦 It’s such a good deal, turning it down is hard. I am so envious of CD and her pig. All those yummy piggy products!

  5. Queen, Can`t you call some family, talk to the next door folks and get some folks on board with you to take some extra, so you can all take advantage of sure a great deal!

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