If you’ve looked at the price of meat in the grocery store, especially beef, and wondered why it’s risen…here’s why. The 2012 drought directly reduced the amount of feed farmers could give to their animals – less corn and less hay and pasture land, mean overall less feed That led farmers to reduce or send to slaughter, more animals in their herds thatn they would have normally. Less feed, the higher price of feed. Fewer cattle, the fewer going to market, so the price goes up. Ron Plain with the University of Missouri Extension says the biggest drop in meat production, further raising the price, is for beef.