Meat costs hitting Arkansas eateries in brisket

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - As the price of a pound of pork and beef continues to rise, many Arkansas barbecue restaurant owners say they are eating the increase rather than passing it along to their customers. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that the shortage is due to two reasons: a virus that has killed an estimated 5 million pigs across 30 states and the 2011 drought that forced cattle ranchers to rebuild herds. Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, an agriculture marketing and consulting firm in Iowa, said that he does not see beef and pork prices dropping anytime soon. Landon Curd is owner of Dink's Barbeque in Bentonville. He says brisket is the restaurant's No. 1 seller and has experienced a 70 percent price increase.