Beef producers can expect record strong prices to continue but a Texas A&M animal science professor warns that rising prices could turn beef into a “specialty item” at supermarkets.

Bill Mies, visiting professor in the TAMU department of animal science, speaking at this week’s 60th Beef Cattle Short Course on the A&M Campus in College Station, said retail meat prices have increased as the cattle herd numbers have declined and could have the potential to rival the pricing power of lobster.

“We don’t want to have beef become a special treat item,” Mies said.

More than 1,500 beef cattle producers from across Texas and abroad gathered for the Beef Cattle Short Course to learn more about cattle production and maximizing profits during times of record prices.

The beef cattle inventory in the U.S. is the smallest since the 1950s, with slow, gradual herd rebuilding after decades of drought throughout Texas and the nation.

“Feeder prices are in good shape for a while,” Mies told attendees. “We’ve got record high beef prices at the retail level, lower corn prices and projected record yields on the current crop.”

Read more on the annual short course.