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Stephen Cherry
11-19-2012, 9:20 PM
All this talk about twinkies makes me want to eat some half cooked meat. BUT when we go to the store it always seems like too much dinero. I checked it, and it looks like beef is way up in the last 4 years, close to double. Anybody know why?


http://www.indexmundi.com/commodities/?commodity=beef&months=120

245883

John Fabre
11-19-2012, 9:54 PM
It's all the imported cattle that don't eat Twinkies.

Mike Henderson
11-19-2012, 10:39 PM
I don't follow the price of corn, but I've heard that corn prices have been up quite a bit because of the amount of corn diverted to ethanol production. I don't remember when ethanol production really took off so I don't know if the price rise in beef coincides with ethanol production.

With the drought that occurred this year in the corn belt, there's talk of reducing or eliminating the mandate for ethanol in gasoline.

Mike

Kathy Marshall
11-19-2012, 10:53 PM
Also consider the cost of fuel. Higher fuel costs mean higher feed costs (higher costs to plant, harvest and ship), higher cost to haul the beef to the processing plant and higher cost to ship the meat to markets.

Ron Jones near Indy
11-19-2012, 10:54 PM
The drought in the much of the feed grain producing areas of the country will influence food prices for quite some time. With higher prices and lower supply of feed grains, many farmers have reduced the size of the herds. This translates to lower supply and higher prices in the grocery for consumers. I fear this is just the start of a lengthy trend in food prices.

Stephen Cherry
11-19-2012, 11:03 PM
Am I wrong, or has the grocery store price for beef doubled in the stores? It seems like costco used to have some pretty nice steaks, and roasts for not a lot of money. It seems like just a few years ago you could get whole tenderloins for about 4-5 dollars a pound. Last time I was in there looking, that would be the price for "stew meat".

John Fabre
11-19-2012, 11:39 PM
Your right, the price has doubled. I thought about buying half a cow from my wife's co-worker. I estimated the cost to $2.50 to $2.75 a pound, cut and wrapped. The down side would be if I lost power for a long time.

Fred Perreault
11-20-2012, 7:08 AM
high cost of beef= drought, ethanol production, energy overhead costs, ethanol production, higher standard of living in other countries, ethanol production....

Gary Max
11-20-2012, 7:31 AM
Not only beef-- have you priced peanut butter--- it's more than doubled. I figure it's just like gas prices--- another way for wall street to stick it to the consumer and line thier pockets at the same time.

Brian Elfert
11-20-2012, 7:35 AM
I don't buy much raw meat, but I thought the pundits said meat prices were likely to fall short term and then skyrocket later this winter? The reason for prices to fall short term is because farmers can't afford to feed them so a large number of animals would be butchered short term. The rise later is after the supply of animals drops way off.

David Weaver
11-20-2012, 12:02 PM
I don't follow the price of corn, but I've heard that corn prices have been up quite a bit because of the amount of corn diverted to ethanol production. I don't remember when ethanol production really took off so I don't know if the price rise in beef coincides with ethanol production.

With the drought that occurred this year in the corn belt, there's talk of reducing or eliminating the mandate for ethanol in gasoline.

Mike

Two things contribute to the corn price:
1) the weakening dollar (making commodities a good place to park money and speculate)
2) the demand for corn due to biofuels mandates (6% of corn went to be used for ethanol in 2000, but more than 40% is used currently)

Maybe 10 years ago, corn was around $1.50-$2 per bushel. Fertilizer costs were lower (so was the input prices for fertilizer, though NG has come down tons due to fracking), seed costs were lower, etc. Last I checked, it was around $7-$8 a bushel.

We (my family) are still landowners of a farm, but rent it to more capable people, so I guess we benefit from it in rent price, but I'd pitch the whole ethanol thing right out the window given the chance, even though we'd be back to getting rent that just about exactly pays the taxes on the land.

The weak currency and mandate have also made it easy for seed prices to climb to $200-$300+ (depending on seed and what's done to it).

At any rate, I haven't met any dairy farmers or beef producers who are getting rich. it's better to be growing corn and beans right now (or making agricultural equipment), but as soon as prices stay up for a while, the inputs and land rents to grow in price to fill the gap. That pushes up other crops, too, because soybean planting will drop until their price also supports the input costs and competes with corn.

David Weaver
11-20-2012, 12:09 PM
Not only beef-- have you priced peanut butter--- it's more than doubled. I figure it's just like gas prices--- another way for wall street to stick it to the consumer and line thier pockets at the same time.

Peanuts and everything else have to compete against corn, too, as well as compete for their inputs (fertilizer, herbicides). If it is all of the sudden more profitable to plant corn, peanuts don't get planted. In anticipation of the acreage adjustment, peanut prices probably increased initially, but they are high now likely due to their competition with corn for fuel and with the input costs to grow corn infringing on peanuts.

Everyone who grew anything has to think long and hard now about whether or not they don't want to just go to corn, maybe with the exception of folks who can grown nuts and other long-term high profit-per acre crops.

Nothing to do with wall street, but lots to do with mandates and weak currency together.

Brian Elfert
11-20-2012, 12:14 PM
Commodity prices do not necessarily reflect the input costs. Farmers are sending extra livestock to the slaughterhouse because it costs more to take care of them than they can sell them for.

I have been buying the same bacon since January. It started at $10.49, jumped to $10.99, and by September or early October it had dropped to $9.49. The price has jumped to $11.99 in the past month.

If everybody jumps to corn next year and there is adequate rainfall the price of corn should drop.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-20-2012, 12:15 PM
.....and then you have to factor in the fact that you are shooting craps with "Mother Nature". Though most of our family members who farm in the mid-west had crops that faired slightly better than they expected, the drought still made a huge dent in a lot of farmers crop production. There in lies one of the major annual unknown risks to farming and crop prices.

David Weaver
11-20-2012, 12:26 PM
Commodity prices do not necessarily reflect the input costs. Farmers are sending extra livestock to the slaughterhouse because it costs more to take care of them than they can sell them for.

I have been buying the same bacon since January. It started at $10.49, jumped to $10.99, and by September or early October it had dropped to $9.49. The price has jumped to $11.99 in the past month.

If everybody jumps to corn next year and there is adequate rainfall the price of corn should drop.


Short term association with inputs and long-term association with inputs are not the same. If there is a glut of cattle because farmers can't afford corn/hay (hay price flies up in a drought, too), and inputs are high, the meat drops in the short term, but in the long term, it will rise at least to where it would have been, reflective of inputs.

Aside with some forced fluctuation of inputs due to energy costs (at one point, NG was expensive, it no longer is), inputs generally have been priced similar to the way the mechanic charged the griswolds in national lampoon's vacation. (when clark asks how much the repair is, the mechanic says "how much you got?").

Rich Engelhardt
11-20-2012, 1:40 PM
Cool!
It's refreshing to see prices go up for a real reason for a change, other than go up because "they can".


Wait a minute...did I just really say that??

Michael Weber
11-20-2012, 1:46 PM
Not only beef-- have you priced peanut butter--- it's more than doubled. I figure it's just like gas prices--- another way for wall street to stick it to the consumer and line thier pockets at the same time.
Ha, so now I have something that's not good about peanut butter:D I make my own pb but Gary is right, the price of peanuts has gone way up. WalMart pulled the typical trick by reducing the size of their house brand dry roasted peanuts by almost a third while keeping the price virtually the same. :mad: I fell for it one time, then noticed the size difference with an old container when I got home. Don't buy my peanuts there anymore.

mike holden
11-20-2012, 2:24 PM
Corn feed is based primarily on corn, corn is being diverted to make ethanol so supply and demand means corn is more expensive, if the feed is more expensive, so is the meat.

Mike

ray hampton
11-20-2012, 2:43 PM
Commodity prices do not necessarily reflect the input costs. Farmers are sending extra livestock to the slaughterhouse because it costs more to take care of them than they can sell them for.

I have been buying the same bacon since January. It started at $10.49, jumped to $10.99, and by September or early October it had dropped to $9.49. The price has jumped to $11.99 in the past month.

If everybody jumps to corn next year and there is adequate rainfall the price of corn should drop.

BACON, I can buy bacon for under $4 a lb, I know that this may not be your brand but if it is then you need to make a run to the south

Brian Elfert
11-20-2012, 7:11 PM
BACON, I can buy bacon for under $4 a lb, I know that this may not be your brand but if it is then you need to make a run to the south

The pricing I was quoting was for 48-50 pieces of thick sliced precooked bacon. About the same as 3 lbs of uncooked bacon.

Bill Cunningham
11-20-2012, 9:51 PM
Buy a bow and sit in the woods... Bear tastes a lot like beef, and a good piece of venison always makes a great meal. Turkeys! There's lots of them. Go hunting, fill your freezer. Meat just doesn't come from the supermarket you know!


I hunt, kill animals, start fires, and barbecue my families' daily sacred protein health food. I bait hooks, catch fish and then cook them in garlic and butter. Thatís absolute perfection, just as God intended. Only a disconnected liberal cultist of denial could find fault with my perfect conservation lifestyle that is based on the sound science of biodiversity, sustain yield and responsible, renewable resources hands-on utility. Venison is the rocket fuel of the gods, and I celebrate it daily. It sure makes for some unstoppable fiery and sexy guitar noise.... Ted Nugent

Jason Roehl
11-21-2012, 7:25 AM
My in-laws farm cattle, corn, soybeans and hay. They normally sell quite a bit of hay throughout the year--this year they didn't have any to sell due to the drought. A couple years ago, they started buying corn gluten (leftovers from ethanol plants) as a way to reduce the amount of expensive grain they were feeding their cattle. The corn gluten was something like half the price of corn per ton, but still had a beneficial nutritional profile for the cattle (I'm sure they had to adjust the diet somehow). My FIL did say that those were some very happy cows after the first time they ate the corn gluten (there is just a bit of fermented sugars remaining...)

As for the price of beef in the stores, it's an agricultural product, so there are two factors, plain and simple: cost of inputs and market prices (supply and demand).

More people in this country need to read about what happened in the 1930s with wheat and the Great Plains.

ray hampton
11-21-2012, 9:55 AM
the pricing i was quoting was for 48-50 pieces of thick sliced precooked bacon. About the same as 3 lbs of uncooked bacon.

this price do sound better

Kevin Bourque
11-21-2012, 5:40 PM
The farm I live on has about 60 beef cattle in their herd.

Yesterday I was cutting some very nice cherry for the sawmill when the entire herd came over to watch me.
Then I moved about 1/4 mile away to get another log and they followed me there too!
I made the mistake of leaving a gate open and they walked right through, but went back into the pasture when I drove the tractor back through.
I wouldn't really mind the admiration at all if they didn't leave their cow poo all over the place.
I managed to haul out 6 beautiful cherry logs about 12' long and 30 " in diameter. :)

Anyway....the reason beef prices are so high is due in part to feed prices skyrocketing , especially corn.
Another reason is that farmers have cut down their herds drastically.
Now that prices are high farmers will build their herds back up.
It takes about 2 years to build the herds back up .
Then beef prices will drop again.

David Weaver
11-21-2012, 8:29 PM
I wouldn't really mind the admiration at all if they didn't leave their cow poo all over the place.


Yeah, and lick every window, windshield and mirror they can find.

Curt Harms
11-22-2012, 7:24 AM
Peanuts and everything else have to compete against corn, too, as well as compete for their inputs (fertilizer, herbicides). If it is all of the sudden more profitable to plant corn, peanuts don't get planted. In anticipation of the acreage adjustment, peanut prices probably increased initially, but they are high now likely due to their competition with corn for fuel and with the input costs to grow corn infringing on peanuts.

Everyone who grew anything has to think long and hard now about whether or not they don't want to just go to corn, maybe with the exception of folks who can grown nuts and other long-term high profit-per acre crops.

Nothing to do with wall street, but lots to do with mandates and weak currency together.

And don't forget the impact of energy costs on nearly every phase of food production. Of course part of that is weak currency. Another part would stray into verboten political waters.

Mike Null
11-22-2012, 8:21 AM
I'll throw this out too as i suspect it is accurate but don't know for sure. When we talk about corn farmers and ethanol I really think we're talking about corporate farmers who have influenced the political process to mandate such high ethanol usage. As long as we have that, which is totally unnecessary, we'll have high food prices. This not intended to be a political statement as I don't know who's on what side.

John Coloccia
11-22-2012, 9:57 AM
Buy a bow and sit in the woods... Bear tastes a lot like beef, and a good piece of venison always makes a great meal. Turkeys! There's lots of them. Go hunting, fill your freezer. Meat just doesn't come from the supermarket you know!

Actually, I will be doing quite a bit of hunting next year. Do you know that you can't even buy venison in Connecticut? Not legal to harvest commercially OR even just sell it privately, so you need to freeze it all or give what you can't store away. Anyhow, I just need to clear some room for a freezer sometime this winter and then I'm all set.

Ken Fitzgerald
11-22-2012, 10:22 AM
I'll throw this out too as i suspect it is accurate but don't know for sure. When we talk about corn farmers and ethanol I really think we're talking about corporate farmers who have influenced the political process to mandate such high ethanol usage. As long as we have that, which is totally unnecessary, we'll have high food prices. This not intended to be a political statement as I don't know who's on what side.

Mike,

My wife and I come from farming communities and farming families in northern and southern Illinois. I keep hearing about all these "corporate" farmers but have never met any. All the farmers we know are farm families often farming the land that their grandfathers and great-grandfathers farmed. Those family farms that have survived did have to get bigger, farm more acreage, become more mechanized and become more efficient. The really good farmers that survived the farm financial crunches in the 80's and 90's are quite scientific about it. Often they use computer-controlled equipment, satellites communications and GPSs. The computers on their combines registers the amount of crop harvested from a given acre of land. Then when planting and fertilizing the next year, the same information is used and the equipment automatically adjusts the amount of fertizer, etc put on that same given acre of land to try to improve it's output.

Unlike my grandparents, today you can't make a living on 300 acres of corn and some "truck" farming.

Corn and soy beans have a history of being major crops in the mid-west long before ethanol.

I suspect corn was chosen for ethanol as it is a product that it is readily available and had the necessary chemical makeup to produce ethanol. Recently I have seen ads where companies are using sugar cane IIRC for ethanol.

Stephen Cherry
11-22-2012, 1:36 PM
I suspect corn was chosen for ethanol as it is a product that it is readily available and had the necessary chemical makeup to produce ethanol. Recently I have seen ads where companies are using sugar cane IIRC for ethanol.

What I have read is that corn was chosen for reasons other than that it is a good energy source. If you add up the complete cost (in btu's) of production, transportation, and conversion, corn really does not get you very far as a fuel. Sugar cane, on the other hand, makes real energy.

Brian Elfert
11-22-2012, 2:34 PM
What I have read is that corn was chosen for reasons other than that it is a good energy source. If you add up the complete cost (in btu's) of production, transportation, and conversion, corn really does not get you very far as a fuel. Sugar cane, on the other hand, makes real energy.

How much sugar cane can we produce in the USA? Brazil uses sugar cane for ethanol, but they have lots of it.

Curt Harms
11-23-2012, 6:41 AM
I don't know about other parts of the world but around here (S.E. PA.) ethanol started because of EPA rules requiring an additive - oxygenate? not sure - to control air pollution. The same EPA appoved MTBE when they first came up with the idea. It turns out that MTBE when escaping from leaking underground fuel tanks or wherever caused big-time ground water pollution problems. There were several places where wells were drilled, water was pumped, run through a process that would trap MTBE then the water was pumped back into the ground. Care to guess who paid for this? Some houses had plumbing to filter the MTBE out. Ethanol was used as a replacement for MTBE. This was before the mandate that all gasoline be a certain % ethanol.

Tom Fischer
11-25-2012, 6:51 PM
Not only beef-- have you priced peanut butter--- it's more than doubled. I figure it's just like gas prices--- another way for wall street to stick it to the consumer and line thier pockets at the same time.
How about apples?? Anything decent is $2/lb. and up.
An easy triple in 10 years.
But my local apply orchard guy says he has nothing to do with Wall Street.
Poor farmer.
Go figure.

ray hampton
11-25-2012, 6:53 PM
and what are milk prices TODAY