As the nation battles rising prices for oil, gas, and other commodities, South Carolina Farm Bureau spokesperson Larry McKenzie explains how food prices are affected–
The key thing is that the big price of food that’s going up is not what farmers are getting paid, it’s all the transportation costs. Let’s talk about oil prices, and the packaging that goes with it. Everything that goes into those things are very energy dependent, and that’s where most of the monies are going is paying for the energy costs that goes into your food.
McKenzie says rumor has it that the price of seeds for vegetable growers has increased. And, the truth behind that rumor?
It’s going up for just about everybody. I’ll give you and example: Just kind of compared to the last five years probably a bag of corn, a guy that’s out there planting corn to feed to his cows probably went up from about $120, $130 a bag to $200 a bag. That’s just in the last couple of years.
McKenzie says farming is a very energy dependent business, but food prices are also affected by other markets.
We are an international market now for all of those products. So, when other people have bad years, Australia had a horrible year for growing their crops, we’ve got to help build those markets up. When another country decides ‘we want a higher standard of living,’ China, they start buying more of our stuff, so the supply starts to get a lot lower.
South Carolina farmers continue to plant more per consumer request, despite the price increases, according to McKenzie.