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Weather causing food price increases

Published Mar. 25, 2014 | Discuss this article on Facebook
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by David White

Iím not looking forward to this summer. I havenít since one of the orchards I live a few minutes from and visit to pick peaches posted the following message on its Facebook page this past winter:

It didnít get any better a few days later when another farm I visit to pick blackberries shared similar bad news with me. Too many consecutive days of nine degrees below zero had wiped out their crop.

Iím disappointed I wonít get to enjoy picking peaches and blackberries this summer that I freeze or use fresh to turn into cobblers and crisps that I share with co-workers, family and friends. Rising food prices may have consumers in a similar mood.

Droughts, unusually cold winter weather, rising exports and a virus outbreak in the hog population are expected to cause food prices to increase this year.

Here are some recent new pieces discussing rising food prices.

USDA Economic Research Service Food Price Outlook

The bottom line: price inflation for meat, fish, milk, eggs, fruits and vegetables is expected to more than double this year from the nearly four-decade low experienced last year.

Even with these increases, food is still a bargain the U. S. compared to other countries. However, consumers may have questions and concerns as to why their grocery bill is increasing. Are you prepared to have that conversation with family and friends who share this concern with you?

David White is director of commodity relations for Ohio Farm Bureau.



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