Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Agriculture

April 11, 2014

Survey: Grocery prices decrease statewide

INDIANAPOLIS – Grocery prices are down slightly from a year ago and remain almost unchanged from last fall, according to Indiana Farm Bureau’s semi-annual “market basket” survey.

The average price on the 16 food items included in the informal survey decreased from spring 2013 by 51 cents for an overall total of $48.22. The same items were down 7 cents from the fall 2013 survey.

Eight of the items in the survey decreased in price compared to spring 2013.

These results differ significantly from the national survey coordinated by the American Farm Bureau Federation. The national survey, which combines the results from 27 states including Indiana, showed that the total cost of the 16 food items was $53.27, up $1.73 from a year ago.

“Farmers are consumers, too, so we’re just as glad as anybody else when food prices don’t rise,” noted Isabella Chism, IFB 2nd vice president and chair of the IFB Women’s Leadership Committee, which coordinates the survey. “But whether prices rise or fall, it’s important to remember that the farmer’s share of our food dollar remains really low. On average, 15.5 cents out of every food dollar goes to the farmer, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The remaining 84.5 percent goes to the other parts of the food industry – those that get that food from the farm to our grocery stores and restaurants.”

As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily,” noted John Anderson, AFBF’s deputy chief economist.

The item showing the greatest decrease in Indiana’s survey from spring 2013 to spring 2014 was sirloin tip roast, which dropped by 70 cents per pound to $3.86. The other beef product on the list, ground chuck, increased in price, but only by 2 cents/pound to $3.70/pound.

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