Drought drives beef prices up, local restaurant reacts - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Drought drives beef prices up, local restaurant reacts

If you're a big fan of beef, your wallet may be thinning along with Texas' cow herd.

The owner at Vitek's BBQ in Waco says the rising cost of beef forced them to increase prices. 
Julie Keith says, "It is a very tough decision to pass it on to the consumer, but it is something we have to do if we want to stay in business."  

For example, the signature Gut Pak will now cost 70 cents more. These signs were put up to raise awareness and let people know the prices aren't just being raised to make a larger profit. 

Keith says years of intense drought are to blame, "Now it's affecting the size of the cow, when the farmers are slaughtering the cows and then the number so even my supplier is on limited supply."    

Experts at the Texas Farm Bureau say the drought is causing a ripple effect.  As consumers, it's only started to impact us recently.

Associate Director of Commodity and Regulatory, Tracy Tomascik says, "When you've got a smaller supply and a current demand that's remained steady and increased over time for beef, you're going to get some price fluctuation.  And in this scenario, you're going to have a price increase."   
Folks at the Farm Bureau say there isn't a beef shortage, there is enough to go around, it's just going to cost you more, for awhile.

Tomascik says, "Yeah, there will be an end in sight but it's going to take years to rebuild that cow heard and rebuild that beef production system."  

Another long-time local restaurant owner in Waco says he's never seen beef prices this high.  He's afraid we might see $15 hamburgers at some point. 
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