Oklahomans Should Prepare To Pay More At The Grocery Store

Thursday, January 13th 2011, 2:47 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Prepare to pay more at the grocery store for bread, cereal, and meat, according to those in the world of agriculture.

The USDA reported prices are expected to rise due to higher crop prices, which is good news for local farmers who will get more for their grain, corn, wheat and cotton. However, livestock operators will end up paying more and as a result, so will consumers.

Kevin Hefner has been in the cattle business all his life and has seen a lot of ups and downs. He's currently the Vice President of Operations at Express Ranch in Yukon specializing in purebred livestock.

He said increased crop prices have affected the cost to feed these prized Angus bulls.

"It's become a big issue," said Hefner. "In the last 12 months our feed prices are up 20 to 25 percent. Prices are up for the end product along with our fixed cost for producing it."

The Wall Street Journal reported part of the reason for the higher prices is due to a drought in Russia which ravaged the country's wheat fields. Dry weather in South America and floods in Australia also contributed.

Ron Hayes with the Oklahoma farm report said consumers can expect to pay about 10 percent more at the checkout line. He said though the increase in crop prices may not be great news for your pocket book, it is actually good news for local farmers.

"All of our agriculture markets are global markets. What happens in Australia, what happens in Russia, what happens in Europe has a great impact on Oklahoma farmers," Hayes said.

Hefner said he just hopes the global economic forecast stabilizes. But says so far he's not too worried about what the future will hold for local agriculture producers.

But those rising crop prices could really end up hurting some of the state's smaller livestock producers who are already struggling. In fact it could force some of them out of business entirely.