If you are planning a Labor Day cookout, don't expect to find any real bargains on burgers or steak this holiday. Increased beef prices are because of a cow shortage in the U.S.

LSU AgCenter Extension Economist Ross Pruitt says consumers won't get much of a break in beef prices.

"The Bureau of Labor and Statistics has come out in the past few weeks and said that all ground beef prices are about $4.22 during the month of July," Pruitt said.

Prices are going to slowly continue to rise at the grocery level.

He says beef production continues to fall in the U.S., and that production is almost 6 percent lower than this time last year.  Pruitt says more price increases are on the horizon.

"The record prices we've seen, up to this point this year — at the wholesale level and even the farm gate level — haven't been fully transferred down to consumers just yet," Pruitt said.

Pruitt says consumer beef prices will continue to rise through the rest of this year. He says you shouldn't be afraid to shop around to find the best deal.

"If you find decent prices, don't be afraid to stock up and store it in the freezer, properly, for the next couple of months," Pruitt advises. "Because prices are going to slowly continue to rise at the grocery level."

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