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      Get your cow now! Beef prices level out

      "Are we expect ing to see prices higher again, yes we are", said Market Director for the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Don Close.

      A lot of things in the Texas Panhandle are defined by the weather and that includes the price of beef.

      "Clearly the combination of high feed grain prices and then the unparalleled drought conditions is obviously having an impact", said Close.

      You may have noticed fluctuations in the price of beef in the past few weeks, as we came within two to three dollars of record highs. However, the TCFA reports that prices could be hitting a plateau very soon.

      "The short term impact we've seen on beef prices probably should be relatively stable. Given the forced movement of cattle we've seen because of the drought, prices have held incredibly well", added Close.

      For ranchers, that's good news -- for consumers, well, it's better news than what was expected. But Close says it's next year we have to be worried about.

      "As we get into the spring, are we expect ing to see prices higher again, yes we are. It would be on into next year before we really see a concern of another big shock to consumers at the counter", said Close.

      B ut, he says it'll be a while before we see those hikes.

      "We're probably reaching a plateau level that we've seen the worst of it for awhile", continued Close.

      So, for right now, you can breathe a sigh of relief.