Grocery stores battle increasing beef and dairy costs - kotanow.com- Scottsbluff Area News, Sports, and Weather

Grocery stores battle increasing beef and dairy costs

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When farmers and ranchers pay more to produce food , that usually means we all pay more for groceries.

"I guess the future of beef prices and milk pricing, it's a little unstable right now," explains Eric King of Main Street Market. He says higher commodity prices make it more expensive to feed cattle.

"Grain prices have gone up. Corn prices have gone up. And farmers and ranchers have been forced to sell off a lot of their herds."

And numbers don't lie. The prices of corn, wheat, and alfalfa have all spiked since the start of the year.

That's pushing the prices of beef and milk up. And they could continue to rise as ranchers and farmers work to keep profits up.

"We don't really know where it's going to go," says King. "It very well could have no effect whatsoever. And on the other side of it, it could drive beef prices and it could drive milk prices up."

King says his store is doing its best to absorb as much of those cost increases as possible.

"Right now we're kind of on that middle hump to find out what the effects will cause us for 2013."

From a purely retail perspective, higher prices mean selling less. And that translates to king's bottom line. "It's in our best interest as well, to keep the prices as low as what we possibly can. That way we can continue to sell more quantity- and try to make up for it on the quantity side."

King adds that he is constantly contacting different suppliers to negotiate the lowest prices as another way to keep costs down for the consumer.

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