Consumers Face Higher Food Prices

Rising farm costs prompt a price upswing in the grocery aisles

Figure on paying more for meat, dairy products, cereal and your morning cup of joe next year as higher crop prices filter through to food at the wholesale and retail levels. But increasing competition between Walmart and other big box stores and traditional supermarkets will help to keep retail prices from jumping off the charts.

On farms, some field crop prices are soaring. Corn and soybeans -- which tend to pull other grain and oilseed prices with them -- have climbed to about $5.50 and $12.50 a bushel, respectively, and hard milling wheat to more than $8 a bushel. Such prices figure directly into the costs of food products as well as indirectly by increasing the costs of livestock feed needed to produce meat and dairy products.

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Ed Maixner
Editor, The Kiplinger Agriculture Letter
Maixner was a student of news writing, agriculture and public policy before starting as editor of The Kiplinger Agriculture Letter in 2003. Raised on a ranch in western North Dakota, he kept a foot in the family farm and the farm news beat through 20 years with North Dakota newspapers – interrupted to study economics and finance while finishing an MA degree in journalism as a Kiplinger fellow at Ohio State University. Ed worked on legislation in agriculture, natural resources and international trade as an aide in the U.S. House and Senate, then ran a Washington, D.C., agricultural news bureau before joining Kiplinger. He was president of the North American Agricultural Journalists in 2011-12.