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Beef prices reach new high as dry conditions persist in the Prairies

Statistics Canada data shows highest beef price on record

Beef prices continue to climb to new highs as dry conditions persist in Canada's cattle heartland.

According to data released today by Statistics Canada, the price of 100 pounds of Alberta beef at slaughter rose to $192.80 in May.

That's a 36 per cent jump from May 2014 and the highest price on record.

The high cattle prices have translated to soaring beef prices in stores, with ground beef costing $12.64 per kilogram _ an 18 per cent rise compared to a year ago _ and sirloin up to $24.22 per kilogram, a hike of 23 per cent.

Dry conditions in eastern Alberta and western Saskatchewan have hurt the growth of grasses that producers use to feed their cattle, forcing some farmers to buy feed or dip into stocked grains.

According to cattle market analyst Dallas Rodger at Canfax, producers are starting to sell off some of their herd to preserve grazing lands.

He says the sell-off is helping to slow price increases, but in the longer term it will make it harder for cattle farmers to increase their herds.

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