Analysts with the Dutch-based Rabobank anticipate that beef production will decline in 2013 thanks to the severe drought in the Mid-West, CNN reports. The drought makes it less cost-effective to raise beef cattle because the price of feed goes up and herds cost more to maintain.
Production is expected to decline anywhere between 4% to 9%. Even if the rains do come, farmers could hold back prime females for breeding rather than sending them to slaughter.
Plus, the price of beef is already climbing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a pound of ground beef went up 40 cents between Oct. 2011 and 2012, while a pound of USDA Choice sirloin went up 43 cent over the year. As a result, demand for beef in the U.S has dropped as well.