Agriculture boom means drop in food prices for 2014

2013-11-15T16:00:00Z 2014-01-11T12:35:09Z Agriculture boom means drop in food prices for 2014Vanessa Renderman vanessa.renderman@nwi.com, (219) 933-3244 nwitimes.com

SCHERERVILLE | An agricultural boom in Indiana means a drop in food prices in the coming year, benefiting consumers.

With high crop yields, feed prices are expected to come down, making related industries more profitable, said Chris Hurt, an agriculture economics professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette.

"We're going to see an expansion of egg, meat and milk production coming up in this next year," Hurt said.

"Agriculture has been in a boom," Hurt said. "As Grandpa said, 'What goes up, must come down.'" 

Although consumers will benefit, the news is bad for crop farmers, whose income will take a hit. Extra supply means lower prices and less pay, Hurt said.

"Indiana actually had a record corn crop this year," he said. 

One billion bushels were generated in the state, while 14 billion were produced nationwide, he said. 

"We're going to look at substantial reductions in prices of these basic grains that go into establishing our food supply here over this next year," he said.

That price moderation could last through 2016, he projected.

The upswing in agriculture has translated into a higher value on the land. 

"In the boom period in agriculture in the last three years, land values have gone up by 70 percent," he said. "Farm land has doubled in the last six years."

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