Beef, vegetable prices up

The price of beef increased recently.
The price of beef increased recently.
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that a number of products saw price increases during March.

The USDA's Economic Research Service reported the average retail price for beef went up from roughly $3.92 to $3.95 in March, while the cost for choice beef products increased 10 cents. The average cost for pork products declined by less than a cent, while turkey was up 5 cents.

However, a recent report from the Financial Times notes that cattle futures have increased sharply since December, as ranchers struggled to fatten up their animals during a difficult winter. Furthermore, the newspaper noted that cattle production across the world is declining, which could lead to higher prices.

Difficult economic conditions also caused ranchers to reduce the size of their herds, which has lead to an increase in prices.

Along with cattle prices increasing, the cost of fruits and vegetables is up according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer cost for these products was up 4.6 percent in March and drove an overall increase in the consumer price index.

What remains to be seen is how the current growing and planting season progresses, as some producers struggle to get their agricultural equipment out to plant crops because of wet weather and soil conditions.