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Numerous ranchers across the country are facing the most significant decline in beef supply since 1962, resulting in shrinking herds nationwide. The long-anticipated meat shortages have finally hit major grocery stores, leading to skyrocketing prices reminiscent of the peak inflation experienced in June 2022.

Experts in livestock economics predict that prices will continue to surge in the coming months, aggravated by heightened summer demand and dwindling supermarket inventories. A recently published report reveals that many Americans have already begun hoarding meat in anticipation of the rapidly emerging shortages. However, millions who failed to prepare will now be compelled to either consume less or opt for cheaper cuts, as shelves go empty and costs spiral out of control. In today's video, we will delve into the details of this unfolding situation.

As 2023 progresses, the demand for cattle is expected to remain strong, prompting producers to retain heifers. This, in turn, will create a void in beef production, potentially exacerbating the crisis, warns Derrell Peel, a livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University. Peel asserts, "The real price surge will occur when ranchers initiate the rebuilding process and start retaining heifers. This will temporarily reduce slaughter numbers, and we are uncertain about when that will happen. It will certainly begin this year, followed by painful price hikes."

Unfortunately, small-scale ranchers will increasingly struggle with profitability, having been forced to send their animals to slaughter much earlier than usual, resulting in significantly lower earnings than anticipated. Simultaneously, large corporations are reporting substantial profits. Some of these companies have recently faced criticism for raising prices despite declining inflation levels, further burdening families with rising living costs.

In the past three years, several major players in the industry have shuttered dozens of meat processing plants, exploiting scarcity to maximize profits. These closures have brought the entire meat industry to the brink of collapse. Independent livestock producers are raising concerns about onerous regulations that hinder their operations. Thousands of small meat processing plants, which could have supplied restaurants, schools, hotels, and similar establishments, are banned by legislation. Yes, it's true. The American people are dependent on four major corporations that enjoy significant regulatory advantages.

Since Tyson Foods, one of the world's largest meat packers, declared that the supply chain was "breaking," it has become evident that America cannot afford to ignore the warnings of small cattle producers. This food supply issue is critical for public health and the economy. When these producers caution about imminent large-scale shortages and price increases, they speak from experience.

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According to a new report by The Washington Post, securing meat supplies is essential for some families, prompting many to make bulk purchases to save money. However, for the millions of Americans who were unable to prepare in advance, the future looks uncertain. Reports estimate that, on average, U.S. consumers will consume 6% less beef this year due to shortages and soaring prices.

It's evident that action will only be taken when it is too late, and supply shortages reach critical levels. If possible, stock up on your favorite cuts while they are still available at local stores because the situation will drastically change in a matter of months.