Owners of Shreveport meat processors Magnolia Meats manage expenses and customer service, but there's something they can't plan for: rising beef prices.
"It's higher now... than I remember," said owner Estis Dean. "Everybody has to go up. Meat prices are about the same all over the country so we have to do what we have to do."
Twenty-nine states are dealing with drought conditions. The weather is pushing up prices for a lot of food items, including beef.
"Now we're projecting another increase of 4-5% in 2012 which means it would be among the biggest movers for 2012," said Ricky Volpe with the US Department of Agriculture.
Analysts expect other grocery staples to ring up higher totals too, but these prices are offset by lower gas prices.