Perspective Important When Talking Food Prices

Posted on: July 16, 2012

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reduced national corn yield average estimates by 20 bushels per acre, spurring speculation food prices would soon be on the rise. As farmers continue monitoring conditions in the field, the Missouri Corn Growers (MCGA) urges shoppers to keep corn prices in perspective when discussing costs in the grocery aisles.

“Doesn’t matter if you are involved in livestock, dairy or grain, this year is challenging for all farmers across the state,” notes Missouri Corn Growers Association President Billy Thiel, a grain farmer from Malta Bend, Mo. “Though we’re used to weather challenges, it’s not easy to watch and wait for rain while your crop withers.”

With the heat affecting both the livestock and grain sectors, there are numerous factors impacting future food costs. Global supplies, consumer demand, market speculation and profit taking by food manufactures can influence the final price at the grocery store. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), historically farmers receive only 12 cents of every food dollar.

“The price of corn is one component in a sea of other factors impacting food costs,” said Thiel. “A box of corn flakes only contains about a dime’s worth of corn, and it takes about $0.30 worth of corn to produce a pound of beef. Packaging, manufacturing and transportation have a bigger impact on the price we see in grocery stores.”

Gov. Jay Nixon has requested USDA designate all Missouri counties as primary agricultural disaster areas. To learn more about the corn industry, visit or call the Missouri Corn office at (800) 827-4181.

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