Local industry is cashing in on beefy rewards

PRICES for your favourite steak or beef mince are going up as beef farmers across the region cash in on some of the highest cattle prices in history.

After a long drought, recent rains have seen green pastures flourish, pushing farmers to restock their herds and prompting a surge in demand, according to Lismore livestock agent Glenn Weir.

"From November last year to now, most classes of cattle have doubled in price," Mr Weir said.

Last week some farmers scored some of the highest prices they had ever seen in their life at the Lismore saleyards.

It marks a massive U-turn from this time three years ago, when local cattle prices were at an all-time low and confidence levels had taken a big hit.

"Up until this year a lot of the farms were getting rundown because farmers didn't have enough money to put back into them," Mr Weir said.

"It's (now) very good for the local economy, with farmers getting twice the price for their cattle they tend to spend more in the town."

But there is a catch for steak lovers - they'll continue to pay more, not less, for their prime cuts.

In fact, even prices for mince have skyrocketed.

Lismore butcher Brad Holloway, of Brad's Butchery, said butchers and supermarkets had been busily adjusting to the furious pace of price hikes over the last 12 months.

"It got to a point where we had to adjust every week for three months," he said.

"Rib fillet 12 months ago was $20 a kilo, whereas now it's $40 a kilo.

"People have quite clearly adjusted and bought more chickens, more pork, and more mince."

Mr Holloway predicted more price rises were likely over summer.

"We haven't put our prices up in the last 30 days, but if it keeps going beyond another 10% we'll adjust again," he said.

And he reckoned the same went for pub prices for your classic steak and chips.

"There's no other cheap options out there. If someone is doing a $10 steak somewhere, they're copping a loss," Mr Holloway said.

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