The price of corn is going up. In September, the kerneled grain hit a 23-month high. Turns out, corn isn't just a side dish, but rather key to putting beef on the table, too.
The spike in corn price is due to a drop in domestic production and imports from Russia where record droughts prompted the Kremlin to halt all exports to ensure enough for Russian citizens.
That is affecting price per pound of beef. Livestock producers consider corn somewhat a 'miracle grain'. On average, every 6Lbs. of corn consumed adds 1Lb of beef to the cow. Texoma livestock dealer Warren Reid says that is much higher a yield than feeding them wheat.
"It grows the cattle and it puts the meat on the animal. It's probably one of the best finishing products as far as grains go that we have now." Reid said. He says the way the market is right now, beef producers are actually making a good profit, but the rising cost of corn is cutting into the bottom line. That hit is passed along to the distributor and eventually to supermarket shoppers. He continued, "The retailer cannot continue to sell beef at these levels if the cattle out of the feed yards are costing what they are costing today".
Another big factor experts say affects the beef industry are the financial markets. For more information on that aspect of the story, check out the associated links section to the left of this column.