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Drought Drives Up Cost Of Meat

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SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – If you’re a meat eater, you might want to brace yourself for sticker shock at the market.

Jim Hiller of Hiller’s Markets said the price of beef is about to skyrocket, and could as much as double by October with lesser increases in chicken and pork.

Hiller said the shortage in meat was brought on by the drought that destroyed the corn crops that feed cows, chickens and pigs.

“It’s impossible to feed the cattle, there’s no corn, and the animals had to be brought to market early to keep them from starving. Those animals now have been distributed through the food chain and there are just no more right now. The corn crop has failed and you can’t raise new ones,” said Hiller.

He said with no end to the price jump, people will grumble but probably adapt.

“The answer may be that a single piece of meat, which used to be consumed by one person, may now be split among four,” said Hiller.

He also expects customers to cut back on their purchases, which will affect grocers, but it’s not something they haven’t dealt with before.

“I routinely see customers who say to me ‘I now buy three bananas this week instead of 10 because I used to throw some out, and I can’t afford to do that anymore,'” said Hiller.

The drought sweeping through the American Midwest is also responsible for killing thousands of newly planted Christmas trees in Michigan, where the average rainfall in June was just over an inch — more than two inches fewer than normal.

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