Beef prices are at an all time high in the U.S. Industry officials are pointing to extreme weather, particularly drought as the main cause. Oregon's beef industry is seeing some, but not all of those trends.
USDA choice-grade beef jumped to a record high $5.28 a pound in February. That's up from $4.91 the same time a year ago. Will Weise is the CEO of the Oregon Beef Council he says Oregon isn't following the trend like other states.
Weise: "As a state, in terms of cattle numbers, we've been up just a little bit where our neighboring states have been down, wither a little bit, or in some states, quite a little bit."
Weise says when you consider organic, grass-fed, or all-natural cattle, the equation for production get a little more complicated. John Deck owns the Deck Family Farm in Junction City. He says their prices have traditionally been higher than "commodity-raised beef."
Deck: "Because we're doing grass-finishing, and it requires a little more intensive care. But what we're seeing, I guess, is that our beef prices now are pretty much on par with the rest of beef prices that have come up to meet us."
Deck says if the drought in Eastern Oregon and California expands to his farm, it could cause output to drop and prices to spike. Localized farm operations tend to distribute regionally rather than nationally, which follows a different formula for pricing.
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