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Wis. beef expert: Prices expected to rise slightly

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin agriculture expert said Wednesday that beef prices are likely to inch upward this year.

Brenda Boetel, and agricultural economist at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, said worldwide beef demand is up, while supplies were limited because of last year's drought.

She addressed attendees at an agriculture forum in Madison on Wednesday. She predicted that beef that cost $5 per pound last year might cost 10 to 20 cents more this year.

She noted that many dairy and beef farmers culled their herds last year because the drought sent feed costs soaring. She also pointed out that demand for beef has increased in developing countries, further limiting the U.S. supply.

However, Boetel said competition with the pork and poultry industries means beef prices can't rise too dramatically.