Harvest Desk
9:59 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Are Higher Food Prices Affecting You?

Credit Harvest Public Media

  When ever food prices start to rise – even a little – the national news finally starts doing stories about agriculture. We get frantic calls from editors in New York and Los Angeles – will they ration bacon? Will there be enough beef for backyard barbeques? Will children get their milk?!

To me, all those stories are great big clichés – lots of speculation told with heavy breathing and a remarkable lack of insight. Rarely are Americans ever hit with significant food shortages and sky-high prices.

This morning, I saw a national news correspondent report about the climb in beef and pork prices. While on a horse. I’m not kidding. Funny, when I’m out with farmers and ranchers, we’re always using horsepower – but it’s an American-made pickup.

The big news from the guy on the horse was that drought is driving up beef prices. True enough. The March Consumer Price Index, released this week, showed that food costs rose 0.4 percent for the second month in a row and grocery costs have increased 1.4 percent over the last year.

That’s a story we’ve been covering for a couple years, along with the driver of these prices: drought.

Most recently, our Grant Gerlock produced a story in January saying yes, beef prices are on the rise, but producers are holding back on their herds, so there could be cheaper prices in the future.

As for pork prices, our Amy Mayer reported in March that a virus devastating hog productions may tilt prices higher.

For my money, I’m most worried about the rise in wine prices. Just saying.

What do you think? Are you being affected by higher food prices? Or maybe you are a farmer or rancher and the rising prices of your livestock or produce is being affected.

Give us a shout by clicking here and telling us your story.