By Julie Tomascik
Up, up and up. We’ve seen food prices rise over the last couple of years. But not for the beginning of 2015.
Texas Farm Bureau’s Grocery Price Watch survey found food prices for the first quarter of 2015 register a slight decline of nearly three percent, ringing in at $49.04 for a basket of 16 staple grocery items.
It’s not much, but it’s still a decrease.
That’s because Texas and the nation had one of the largest, most successful feed grain crops—the ingredients for livestock feed—on record last year. The high-yielding harvest makes livestock feed cheaper, which leads to less expensive food items on grocery store shelves.
Take a stroll down the aisles of your local grocery store and you’re likely to notice chicken, turkey and pork prices are down.
That less expensive feed, combined with fewer exports, leads to extra supply in the states. Bringing the good ol’ supply and demand equation into play.
The same goes for dairy products. Cheaper feed makes it less expensive to raise dairy cattle. The more dairy cattle on feed, the more milk and milk products—like cheese and ice cream—drop in price.
But there’s one gloomy area in the grocery store. Beef.
Ranchers are still feeling the effects of a multi-year drought. During those extremely dry years, Texas and U.S. cattle numbers dropped to record lows. And, although ranchers have started rebuilding their herds, it’s just going to take more time.
Check out the full survey results below or read Texas Farm Bureau’s news release for more information.