Beef Price Fears: The concerns the Smokehouse Creek Fire has brought to grocery stores

It is estimated tens of thousands of cows have died due to the Smokehouse Creek Fire, the largest wildfire in Texas history.

Couple that with the lowest cattle herd on record since 1951 and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service fears beef prices may take a hit.

“I think it’s safe to say they’re going to go up, but yeah, the price of beef already is has is at a pretty high level and certainly an incident like this is going to have a upward effect on pricing moving forward. At this point, we don’t know. We have economists who are already sussing through the information to see what the ultimate impact will be on that.”
Dr. Rick Avery, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Director

Dr. David Anderson, who is also with the extension, says it could be weeks before there are accurate estimates for lost cattle. He says the impact to cattle or beef prices won’t be as drastic because of the numbers and scale of the entire market.

The Texas Commissioner of Agriculture predicts the overall impact to the Texas cattle industry would be minimal as the cattle raised in the Panhandle are largely range cattle and not feeder cattle.

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