In its effort to contain inflation, the Federal Reserve has begun what many expect to be a series of interest rate boosts, which are already taking a toll on stock and housing markets, with job losses likely to follow. While Americans grow weary of record high gas and grocery prices, however, another round of price increases is making its way through the food supply chain and is expected to reach consumers this fall.
“People don’t realize what’s fixing to hit them,” Texas farmer Lynn “Bugsy” Allen said. “They think it’s tough right now; you give it until October. Food prices are going to double.”
The 8.8 percent increase in food prices that Americans have already seen doesn’t take into account the dramatically higher costs that farmers are now experiencing. That’s because farmers pay upfront and only recoup their expenses at the point of sale, months later.
“Usually, what we see on the farm, the consumer doesn’t see for another 18 months,” said John Chester, a Tennessee farmer of corn, wheat, and soybeans. But with the severity of these cost increases, consumers could feel the effects much sooner, particularly if weather becomes a factor.
“Nothing that consumers are paying is going to bridge the gap for farmers right now,” according to Lorenda Overman, a North Carolina farmer who raises hogs and grows corn, soybeans, and sweet potatoes. She said the spike in fuel costs has put her farm into the red this year.
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