KASSON, Minn. (KTTC) -- The warming weather and melting snow can only mean that grilling season is just around the corner. And while meat prices have stayed steady for most of this year, once it gets warm enough to throw a few steaks on the grill, things probably won't stay that way.
Meat prices are forecast to go up 3 to 4 percent, and the prices will probably start to spike with the first major grilling holiday of the year -- Memorial Day.
According to Jon Christensen at Erdman's County Market in Kasson, price jumps just happen during the summer because of supply and demand. More people are grilling and buying meat, so the price of meat goes up. However, he says there's a bit more to it.
According to Christensen, the price of poultry goes up and down with the cost of corn.
He says pork is mainly raised in the North, so droughts haven't had as much of an impact on the supply of pork, but droughts in the south have decreased cattle herd sizes by 14 percent. That means beef prices could go up about $0.10 per pound this summer.
"The biggest thing that's happened is the drought down south," Christensen said. "That's been the big killer. A lot of the farmers have actually sold off their herds because there's no water available or no actual hay available for them to use."
Christensen says the expected price increases are right in line with the past two years, but some relief is in sight at least for beef. Herds are starting to increase in size, but it will take another two years for that improvement to make a difference at the supermarket.
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