Deadly disease may cause spike in pork prices

ST. LOUIS - The price of meat may have you opting to put vegetables on the grill this summer. Both beef and pork prices are on the rise, but for two different reasons.

Pork farmers across the country are dealing with a virus called porcine epidmic diarrhea that's killing millions of baby pigs, and it's just starting to make its way into Missouri and Illinois.

The virus hasn't hit the Maschhoff Family Farm in Carlyle, Ill. yet, but it has infected some of the family's sites in different parts of the country. To try and prevent it from hitting the Illinois location, owners are restricting access to the animals.

Any workers or vehicles that do get near the pigs have to go through a disinfecting process. Farmers say those who have been hit by the virus are expected to take a $200,000 to $250,000 hit, which means consumers will notice that loss at the grocery store.

"There's a huge ripple effect because obviously we're going to decrease production on our farms and have a hole in our production numbers. There's going to be less supply down the road," said Julie Maschhoff.

Beef prices are also on the rise, as cattle farmer work to make up from the drought. Butchers say those prices could increase by 10 percent or more heading into the summer.


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