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Beef Numbers Down Following 2012 Drought

Last updated on Friday, February 8, 2013

(UNDATED) - Indiana consumers may soon ask “Where’s the Beef.”

That's according to Purdue University Agricultural Economist Dr. Chris Hurt. Hurt says Indiana is still feeling the effects of the drought of 2012.

The drought is over, but Hurt says the state's beef herd is down by 18 percent since 2007. He says the nationwide cattle population is down by 3.6 million. Hurt says cattle numbers are at their lowest level since 1952.

This comes on the heels of the record-setting drought. The drought ravaged feed supplies, sharply drove up corn and soybean prices and forced cattle producers to reduce their herds.

Hurt says since 2007, the beef industry has struggled to compete with other sectors for expensive feed and limited land resources that were converted to corn and soybeans. Hurt says the trends mean consumers can expect to see smaller beef supply and higher prices.

He says expect record high retail prices and beef shortages. Hurt says beef prices this year into next year will likely rise by upwards of six percent.

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