The price of beef is at a record high. Rancher Jason Schmidt says he is getting three times as much as he did five or six years ago. Before the first of the year, he sold his steers for $1,200/calf, a price he would have paid on bulls a decade ago.
The high prices are a result of high demand on a low supply. Ranchers have been reducing herds since 2007 due to high feed costs, says Tim Petry, North Dakota State University Extension livestock marketing economist.
"There are economies in the world that are increasing faster than the U.S., particularly in southeast Asia," he adds.
A cheap U.S. dollar is making products cheaper overseas.
Last year's drought in the southern U.S. has added to a decrease in supply. The land could not support the same number of cattle and many had to be slaughtered.