Unbeef-lievable prices continue

Inflation continues to increase prices except for beef
The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 7:43 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) -Since 2021, the United States has seen inflation increase more than in other countries.

“You think it’s hitting you hard in the grocery store, it’s hitting us harder on the ranch. As we work on a stricter budget to try and develop and produce enough food for this nation,” said Kevin Ernst, Co-Owner, of Ernst Herefords.

According to Harvard Business Review, inflation is defined “as a price increase across the nation” and appears to be one of the largest risks to the economy.

The average price for a dozen eggs in the United States in December of 2022 was $4.25 compared to November of 2022 when the average price was $3.58. The price of eggs in December 2021 was $1.79. Since then, there has been a 137.7% increase in price for a dozen eggs.

Inflation has impacted consumers across the United States, but beef prices have consistently stayed the same.

The average price of ground beef in December 2022 was $4.80. In December 2021, the price of ground beef was $4.60. An annual increase of 4.3%.

The price offered to ranchers for their beef has been an issue.

The increase in the price of gas and the cost of food for cattle is making it harder for ranchers to break even when trying to sell.

“The inputs that we put into our cattle are a lot of costs going into them. So, seeing that those prices are lower than we like, we kind of like to see them higher we can see some benefits from what we are putting into these cattle day in and day out,” said Calah Covey, Covey Cattle

When ranchers are trying to sell their cattle privately, they are able to set the price. However, when they bring their cattle to the stock show, the price is determined by the market, and sometimes these prices aren’t enough to cover the cost to care for the animal.

Dawn Covey works with cattlemen and consistently sees the prices of what cattle are sold for.

“I see directly how maybe the prices at the market when they sell on sale days are higher. However, their input costs are so much of those margins that they have narrowed and narrowed making it almost impossible for them to make a living,” said Dawn.

Rep. Dusty Johnson is currently working on two bills that could help the beef industry.