Experts Warn of Jump in Beef Prices in 2012

LAS VEGAS -- Everyone noticed prices at the grocery store going up last year, but a new report from the World Bank says food prices around the globe are dropping. By the end of 2011, the World Bank's food price index was 7 percent below the level it was at the same time the year before.

The exception could be the price of beef. The decreasing number of cattle in the U.S. could drive the price of beef up for the second year in a row. The Department of Agriculture says the country started the year with the lowest number of beef cattle since in 1952.

Nevada farming experts says there are other factors that will force up the price of meat.

"Energy prices, natural disasters, foreign demand as well as local demand. So, as you see those things change you will also see the price of food," Hank Combs with the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation said.

Combs says the price of gas has a big impact on food prices in Nevada. The state is a consumer state instead of one that produces food which means it must be trucked in. A recent report from the Energy Department could hurt Nevada consumers even more. The report shows gas prices were at a record high for January. The national average for a gallon of gas was up a nickel this week over last week.


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