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Farm Bureau Says Food Prices Rose Again in 1st Quarter


American Farm Bureau is reporting another rise in the price of groceries across the country, this time a 7 percent jump in first quarter 2012 versus the final quarter of last year. Non-scientific data compiled by state farm bureaus is fed into the national survey, and Indiana also showed a rise.

“Most of the items that increased in price and certainly the largest increases came from the meat and dairy sector,” said Kathleen Dutro with Indiana Farm Bureau. “Our two biggest increases were for sliced deli ham and for shredded cheese. Most of the increase actually came from those two items, but a number of other meat items showed at least small increases.”

The Market Basket survey has Indiana prices up $1.55 for 16 items to a record total of $51.15. And the reason meat and dairy are higher?

“Generally strong demand and tight supplies according to the American Farm Bureau, and that’s kind of a carryover from 2011. The agriculture department data shows that retail meat prices peaked sometime in the first quarter and wholesale prices have started to decline, so we’re hoping that means the next survey will show a more general decrease in meat and dairy prices.”

Grocery prices have increased gradually over time, but the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive is about 14 percent, according to USDA. The remaining nearly 86 percent is called the marketing share and includes everything else that is part of the food chain including processing and transportation.

Dutro says the gap in those numbers is widening as the farm share, “has been on the decrease for almost forever. It’s kind of flattened out a little in the last ten years of so, but it’s still showing a general decrease in the farm share with the marketing share showing a gradual increase.”

USDA’s Economic Research Service has an online app that graphically shows the historic food dollar breakout.

Nationally 64 shoppers contributed to the survey and 23 of those are Hoosiers.

According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10 percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world.

In the Indiana survey sliced deli ham increased by 66 cents to $5.68 per pound, while shredded cheese rose by 62 cents to $4.70/pound. Other increases in the meat/dairy sector include ground chuck; which rose by 24 cents to $3.18/pound; boneless chicken breasts, up 23 cents to $3.13; and bacon, which rose by 6 cents to $4.07/ pound.

Other items that increased in price were potatoes, up by 28 cents per 5 pounds to $2.93; bagged salad mix, up 24 cents per pound to $2.42; 5 pounds of flour, up 17 cents to $2.68; a 20-ounce loaf of white bread, up 11 cents to $1.60; and 10-ounce box of cereal, up 2 cents to $3.10.

The largest decreases were for vegetable oil, which dropped by 72 cents to $3.33 for a 32-ounce bottle, and eggs, which dropped by 19 cents per dozen to $1.71.

Also showing decreases were a half-gallon of orange juice, down 8 cents to $3.15; sirloin tip roast, down 5 cents/pound to $4.36; a gallon of whole milk, down 3 cents to $3.24; and apples, down 1 cent to $1.87 per pound.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/05/IFB-Market-Basket-update.mp3|titles=IFB Market Basket update]