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00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d38650002Issues of food, fuel, and field affecting Illinois.

Are Higher Food Prices Affecting You?

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 therise 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.

Peggy Lowe joined Harvest Public Media in 2011, returning to the Midwest after 22 years as a journalist in Denver and Southern California. Most recently she was at The Orange County Register, where she was a multimedia producer and writer. In Denver she worked for The Associated Press, The Denver Post and the late, great Rocky Mountain News. She was on the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of Columbine. Peggy was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in 2008-09. She is from O'Neill, the Irish Capital of Nebraska, and now lives in Kansas City. Based at KCUR, Peggy is the analyst for The Harvest Network and often reports for Harvest Public Media.
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