EVERYTHING IS GOING SWIMMINGLY: Ground beef prices surge as farmers sell off cattle herds.

The cost of putting food on the table is the highest it’s been in 40 years, and inflation is specifically impacting a summertime staple: ground beef.

Ground beef prices are up 12% since this time last year, which is higher than the current inflation rate for the United States, which currently stands at 9.1%. . . .

As of July 1, the nation’s inventory of cattle and calves stands at 98.8 million head, down 2% from a year earlier, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA says it’s seen a huge number of female cattle sent to the feedlots, which means there’s a lot of supply right now, but not for long.

“You build that genetic supply in your herd, so you’ve got a quality cow and calf that you’ve built up and if you have to liquidate, it is going to take a while to build back again,” Baker said.

Experts predict that meat prices could go up another 9% to 10% next year, and cattle experts say it could take years to get back on track.

Just like the rest of the country.