mrobisr In my opinion there are several things that have drove up retail beef prices. The first being the cost to process, especially with increased labor costs, the starting salary at the packing houses has gone up substantially over the last 2 years, cost of safety measures for Covid-19 implemented, as well as increased cost of fuel. With labor shortages due to Covid 19 there was not packing capacity for periods of time over the last year, so supply and demand factors then came into effect to drive the price up as well. When there is no capacity to kill cattle, that will drive beef prices down, because there is no demand from the packer to buy. Once beef leaves the packer it is then subject to prices increases from the wholesaler down to the grocery store, and all of their costs have gone up as well, so those cost then get passed on to the consumer. It’s easy to blame the packer, so that’s where in my opinion the finger has been pointed, and they certainly are one part of the increase, but certainly aren’t the only reason prices have gone up. The best way to buy beef at the best price is to find a rancher/cattleman that you trust, and buy beef directly from them as a whole, half or quarter. One of the other problems during the pandemic has been that some cattle that would have normally been destined for one of the big 4 packers, were sent to smaller packers, so there were no kill spots available for many people who would have normally brought in a few head to butcher at various times during the year, I think from what I am hearing that pressure has eased off, but is not completely gone yet.