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Rainfall Down, Steak Prices Up

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<Prices on steakhouse menus are higher than they were three years ago, and the drought that’s devastated corn crops in the Midwest will only push them higher. “We think the price rise is yet to come,” says Amy Rubenstein, an owner at Peter Luger in Brooklyn, who’s seen the cost of the prime New York strip steak she buys rise 11 percent this year and 45 percent since 2010.>

That's good. The only way to get people to eat fewer cows is to make them more expensive.

Despite record supermarket prices (sirloin is up 148 percent from 20 years ago), the 723,000 ranchers with 500 head or fewer who provide 83 percent of America’s beef face a squeeze unlike any since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Ranchers in the high plains east of the Rockies have suffered through three years of drought, wildfire, and rising costs. Corn has jumped from $2 per bushel to nearly $8 since 2005. Even the price of silage,​a sweet-smelling mix of hay, straw, and chopped cornstalks used as livestock feed, has doubled over the past few years. The size of the U.S. beef cattle herd, at 89.3 million, is at its lowest since the 1950s.

Drought conditions trouble many ranchers who thought they had staying power, says Jake Allacher, the agricultural loan officer at High Plains Bank in Flagler, Colo., population 568. “You can’t go through too many years like this,” he says. “You gotta have cattle around to make your income, but if you can’t afford to keep the cattle around ….”

Sorry those farmers will be hurt, but the world eating less beef is a good thing.

Methane from cows is one of the single biggest injectors of greenhouse gases in the world.

Insects, on the other hand .....

Insects are good for the world, right? Plants too, right?

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