SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif -

Beef prices are at a record high across the nation.

"Drought is a devastating way to get out of the cattle business, but it forces you out," said Randy Baxley, the owner and operator of the Templeton Live Stock Market.  

Ranchers across the country are selling off their cattle months ahead of schedule, and there are several reasons why. "When there is no rain there is no grass, and basically what you’re forced to do is either liquidate the cows or bring in outside feed," said Baxley. This is making the food for the cattle more expensive.

The number of cows in the country is also dwindling, and with little supply and high demand the price for cattle are increasing. "It's went up anywhere from 5-20 percent depending on what class of cattle we are talking about," said Baxley.

When the price of cattle goes up it means higher prices at the store. "We are charging definitely a lot more this year than we did last year,” said Henry Gonzalez, owner of Arroyo Grande Meats.

It is something noticeable to customers. "I've noticed the price of everything going up," said Renee Johnson, a customer.

Gonzales says has been doing everything he can to keep prices down for his customers. "We are constantly searching for a better less expensive product; I mean that search is continuous," he said.

However the price has steadily been going up for the past couple of years. "I would say our meat prices have risen probably on some of our main products at least 20 percent, which is astronomical," said Gonzalez.