By Julie Vrazel

I keep a close eye on food prices—mostly for my budget, but also for Texas Farm Bureau’s Grocery Price Watch survey. And I know you closely watch your family’s grocery budget, too. Based on the survey’s second quarter results, Texans paid $47.57—on average—for a basket of 16 staple food items. This price is up from $46.66 last quarter.

But do you really know why food prices increase?

If you’ve watched the news lately, you’ve heard about the nation’s cow herd being at the lowest since the 1950s. The ongoing drought also has affected the Lone Star State’s herd. And hog farmers are battling a virus that has drastically reduced hog numbers across the nation.

But Texas ranchers are working to rebuild their herds and hog farmers have modified management practices to build immunity to the virus and increase production.

Dairy products, like milk and cheese, saw increases this quarter, as well. Domestic prices are increasing as a result of improved economic conditions around the world.

And farmers and ranchers—the folks who grow your food—only see a fraction of the higher prices.

With that said, several items decreased this quarter, including tomatoes, white bread, corn flakes and long-grain rice.

I believe there is tremendous value in the food we buy. Each week, I have abundant choices and can decide what fits my budget at the grocery store, all because American farmers and ranchers took the risks to grow the food that we put in our baskets.

Check out the full survey results below, or read TFB’s new release with additional information.