ST. CLOUD - You may have noticed that your steak or barbacoa burrito is a tad bit more expensive in area Chipotle restaurants.

Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold says they have been planning a 4 to 6 percent price increase on beef items this year due to continually escalating nationwide beef prices. Several listeners have reached out to WJON saying that their orders have been slightly more expensive recently.

Emily Wilmes is an extension educator with the University of Minnesota Stearns County extension office, she says there's a nationwide cattle shortage due to droughts and storms around the country over the last few years.

"There's also an increased demand for beef. As the economy has recovered out of the recession of 2009, people have more income to spend on luxury food items and beef/steak is something they consider a luxury food."

Wilmes says the recent emergence of high protein diets like the "paleo diet" have also increased demand for beef products.

"It's simple supply and demand: there's a lot of people wanting it [beef], but there's just not enough of it for everyone to have it. So prices have increased."

Sicne 2014, the retail price of steak and ground beef and increased by 20 percent. Wilmes says beef prices may go down by a small amount later this year as the beef herd is slowly built back up. However, it's unlikely prices will return back to their original lower price seen two years ago.