Breaking down those record-high meat prices

If you’re cooking out this Memorial Weekend, plan on spending some extra money for your food, said a Kansas State University agricultural economist.

Glynn Tonsor, associate professor, said beef and pork prices are at an all-time high. Beef, which costs about $5.50 a pound, is 13 percent more compared to last year. Bacon and pork chops have increased by 15 percent.

Tonsor said several factors are contributing to the increased prices, such as the drought, the historically low number of cattle and recent animal health diseases.

“There are new animal health concerns in 2014,” Tonsor said. “We simply are producing less pork and that’s showing up as less pork on the retail shelf. Couple that with strong demand, and we have notably higher pork prices.”

Prices are steadily increasing in 2014. Meat prices in April were 3 percent higher than in March. Tonsor believes they will continue to increase for the rest of the year.

But despite the higher prices, consumers are still snatching burgers and bacon off the shelves.

“The public is willing to pay higher prices,” Tonsor said. “They value the convenience, the freshness, the qualities that are in these meat products.”

It could be awhile before beef prices come down.

“We have ongoing concerns with the drought and then a long biological lag for cattle,” Tonsor said. “Even though we’re trying to expand production, it takes multiple years. It’s probably going to be 2016 before we see more pounds on the shelf in the beef complex.”

Tonsor suggests comparing prices of meat products and consider buying alternate products, like bone-in instead of boneless, to save some money.

Piper results

Piper was the 1st place regional golf champion with a 328. (Piper photo)

Piper High School – golf at Sunflower Golf Course (regional)
– 1st place regional champs  with a 328
– Eric Pahls (regional champion) with a 77
– Alec Wuellner (4th) with an 80, Nick Delaquila (6th) with an 82, & Blaine Smith (10th) with an 89
– play at Marietta on May 27th for the state title

Piper High School – baseball at Tonganoxie (regional)
– V lost 3-4

Piper won the regional softball championship with a 9-4 victory. (Piper photo)

Piper High School – softball at Basehor-Linwood (regional)
– Game No. 1 vs. Atchison V won 17-2
– Henry winning pitcher and went 4/4, McCall went 2/3, Lauritzen 2/4 with a GS homerun, Sullivan 3/3 with a double, Boyd went 2/2, N. Salazar went 1/2 with a triple, and Mullins went 1/1 with a double
– Game #2 vs. Basehor-Linwood V won 9-4 (regional champs)
– Henry winning pitcher and went 2/5, Sullivan went 3/3 with 2 HRs, Lauritzen 2/4, & Boyd went 2/4
– play in Salina on May 29 and 30 for the state title

–    from Doug Key, Piper activities director

T-Bones’ early lead not enough

The Kansas City T-Bones jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first two at bats, but eventually fell 9-8 to the Wichita Wingnuts on Monday night.

The first six of seven reached base for Kansas City in the first inning and scored four times, capped off by a two-run double from Danny Richar that scored Bryan Sabatella and Nick Giarraputo. Robby Kuzdale connected with the T-Bones’ first home run of season in the second inning, which stretched the lead to 5-0.

Starting pitcher Justin D’Alessandro (0-1) hit trouble in the second and fourth innings, allowing nine runs — eight earned. D’Alessandro had trouble locating the strike zone, surrendering five walks and four hits. The Wingnuts capitalized on back-to-back walks in the second inning and tied the game with five runs, and four more in the fourth.

Down four runs in the eighth inning, the T-Bones tried to work magic. Trailing 9-5, Kansas City scored three runs, including two from a homer by Richar that pulled the T-Bones to within one at 9-8.

In the ninth inning the Wingnuts went to right handed closer Matt Nevarez (3) who converted his third save in as many chances despite hitting two batters. The game ended when the T-Bones tried to double steal with David Espinosa and Sabatella, but Sabatella was thrown out at second.

Wichita starting pitcher Alan Williams (1-0), who gave up five runs, six hits and walked four, picked up the win.

The T-Bones (2-3) and Wingnuts (4-1) continue the three-game series Tuesday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita at 7:05.

– Story from T-Bones