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WASHINGTON (AP) — Strong demand for corn to use in ethanol plants is driving up the cost of livestock and will raise prices for beef, pork and chicken, the Agriculture Department said Friday.
Meat and poultry production will fall as producers face higher feed costs, the department said in its monthly crop report. Ethanol fuel, which is blended with gasoline, is consuming 20% of last year's corn crop and is expected to gobble up more than 25% of this year's crop.

The price of corn, the main feed for livestock, has driven the cost of feeding chickens up 40%, according to the National Chicken Council. The council says that chicken, the most popular meat with consumers, will soon cost more at the grocery store. The industry worries the competition from ethanol could cause a shortage of corn.

The average price of corn is more than $4.20 a bushel, according to the futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade. In October, it traded at less than $3 a bushel.




While chicken producer Tyson Foods (TSN) posted its first profitable quarter in a year Jan. 29, executives warned that a dramatic rise in feed costs will raise chicken prices.

"Companies will be forced to pass along rising costs to their customers, meaning consumers will pay significantly more for food," Chief Executive Dick Bond said.

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner said USDA is keeping an eye on corn supply and demand. Demand likely will prompt farmers to plant more acres in corn, he said.

"We do have confidence in the marketplace's ability to react," Conner said. "We believe producers are seeing the market saying, 'I need more corn, not only for ethanol, but for our feed needs in this country."'
 

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This article has me worried as we are big meat eaters..I think it's time to dust off my foodsaver...I need to organize my freezer to stockup on as much meat as I can now before we get hit with the inflated prices..Anyone who doesn't have a foodsaver might want to think about getting one...the cost will more then pay for itself in a short period of time...no freezer burn and it will keep foods especially meat fresh for up to 3 to 5yrs..
 

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I think we need to work on eating less meat in this family. High gas prices -- now high food prices. Where's the happy medium??
 

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I am telling you it never ends. I do believe they just look for ways to take the money out of our pockets before it even gets in there. There is always an excuse to raise prices. Whether they are true or not is another story all in and of itself. I am getting tired of being an American consumer. I think if everyone did as all of us at the village do maybe we could get some things across to this country and it's businesses. I love this country but when will all of this stop. Eventually there will not be a middle class just upper and lower. I know where I will be. :yikes: Anyway, I guess we will just have to squeeze a little tighter. I know I have some room to spare. I am done with my rant now. Does anyone else want to step up to the podium?:nrant:
 

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I'll step up. My family and friends think that I am a cheapskate.Well this should show them that what we do to conserve and save has put money in our pockets and food in our pantries. I am sick of the prices. I'm hitting Kroger sunday and stock up on the huge lost leader sales this weekend. We here at the village will not go hungry. We will not have to rob Peter to pay Paul. And when the bills come in we won't rant and rave about the high [prices because we have already budgeted for them and cut off and washed out and stored back.
Yep. gonna pull out both of my foodsavers and pack and freeze everything that I can get my hands on and when the rest of the world goes to he77 in a hand basket the many here at the village will be holding the handle.
Barbara
 

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I work in the agriculture industry in Canada, and the price of corn is affecting us too. Feedlots are looking for alternate feed sources and farmers are shortening their crop rotations to take advantage of high canola and wheat prices. The way things are now, agriculture is poised on the brink of incredible changes. There is a battle for acres between food and fuel, and the highest price will win. What makes me cringe is: what happens if the corn crop fails? It's happened before, and now that fuel depends on it so strongly, it's frightening.

I agree with Brenda...buy a Food Saver, raise some chickens, get a side of beef and be try to drive as little as possible.
 

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Suddenly the prices for grass-fed, free-range beef & chicken are not going to be looking too bad. Now just to save up money and order a side of beef before the trickle-down demand increases.

The thing is soybeans can also be made into fuel. We don't only have to be dependent on corn for fuel. But, some people get it in their minds that there is only one option.

I'll tell you the prices will go up next week just because of this article - because that is the way it always is.
 

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We make one trip to do everything that we can. Sunday will be Kroger and Walmart. No over spending just ink for printer and groceries(lost leaders). When we do drive other than my hubby going to work we always make many stops to conserve gasoline in one trip. We have our chicken coop almost built. hopefully in next two weekends it will be finished. We can buy beef for 2.75 lb. hanging weight. Which for hamburger that is a little high but with the steaks and roasts it really averages out and also the beef are open ranged. Well I suppose the rising prices that we are already seeing will divide us in, not upper and lower classes but the haves and the have nots.
Barbara
 

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I really noticed the chicken prices recently. I have always waited for chicken hindquarters to be on sale for .29 a pound. This .29/# price would always come every month or so. Well, the other week, I saw a big sales promotion from the store for the pirce of .49/# for those same hindquarters. I didn't buy any, thinkin I'd just wait for .29 again.........sounds like I may be waiting for a loooooong while. One things for sure, if they do it once more, I will buy LOTS AND LOTS!
 

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I've been cutting way down on meat eating. My dd is a vegetarian and so it's just me eating it. She won't eat eggs or fish, either, so I don't buy much of any of those things.

My doctor told me to stop eating so much protein and eat more fresh fruits and veggies & whole grains and I would lose some weight in no time. He was right, I did lose a lot but I was filling up on potatoes because they were the cheapest veggie that I could buy and eat everyday.

My aunt said a lot of the corn crops were ruined last year because of too much rain. I hope that doesn't happen again in Michigan. I don't eat it often, but I sure like corn, too.
 

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I am telling you it never ends. I do believe they just look for ways to take the money out of our pockets before it even gets in there. There is always an excuse to raise prices. Whether they are true or not is another story all in and of itself. I am getting tired of being an American consumer. I think if everyone did as all of us at the village do maybe we could get some things across to this country and it's businesses. I love this country but when will all of this stop. Eventually there will not be a middle class just upper and lower. I know where I will be. :yikes: Anyway, I guess we will just have to squeeze a little tighter. I know I have some room to spare. I am done with my rant now. Does anyone else want to step up to the podium?:nrant:

:yeah: You took the words right out of my mouth. I have been having "discussions" with my fiance recently about the great divide getting even greater between the upper and lower classes. The middle seems to either be middle lower or middle upper with very little room for a true middle class. One thing we both agree on, the less :dollar: spent the more in control we feel in our lives.
 

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I stopped eating red meat back in September. I have tried to convince dh and son to stop eating it also. But they won't, I substitute Ground turkey in chili, Lasagna, and other dishes that require hamburger and they can't tell the difference.
I used to have a food saver and then I gave it away a few years ago. I guess this has convinced me to go buy a better one.
Since my son's car has had some minor problems he has been driving my car and I have stayed home, has saved big time on gas. I usually go shopping on friday or saturday. Just depends.
I know dh will be fuming since he drives 30 minutes each way to work and it means more money for gas. Time to stretch even tighter. Can't wait until its time to plant seeds for the garden.
I don't live that far from Sav-a-lot, Dollar general and SuperWalmart. Its about 3 - 5 miles. I wanted to start walking soon. So I guess to even further save I could use a big back pack my son doesn't use anymore and walk in the early morning. I'm going to give it a try.
 

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To be honest there is plenty of corn for both animals and ethonal. My DH farms and knows what he is talking about. When the thought of making money goes into ethonal, people buy the corn on paper in hopes of making money. This is why corn prices are going up, and so you don't put the blame on the farmer for the prices, THE FARMER CANNOT SET HIS PRICES!! We take what the big company's give us for our crops and market animals. And we still have to pay all the set prices for fuel, to plant these fields, seeds to plant, equipment to use, fertilizer, rent and so forth, I believe that the farmer is the only job where he cannot set his own prices to sell.

The reason ethanol is going up is because people are gambling on it, not because there is not enough corn.

Yes I know no one blamed the farmer but just in case you where, he's not to blame.
 

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The thing is soybeans can also be made into fuel. We don't only have to be dependent on corn for fuel. But, some people get it in their minds that there is only one option.
That's what struck me as very odd about this whole business. Ethanol production right now is quite inefficient - you get 1.2-1.4 units of energy out for every unit you put in, whereas biodiesel, which is made using soybeans, canola or other oilseeds, gives you about 3-3.5 units of energy per unit invested. I'm sure both of these ratios will change as they develop better production methods...it just seems weird that everyone is buying corn like crazy. :shrug2: I heard it's because the corn lobby in the U.S. is very powerful and is pushing ethanol over biodiesel...but I have no idea if that's true or not.

Sandy, you're totally right...the farmers around here know that the price is being artificially inflated due to speculation and are saving every penny they can against the day when the bubble bursts and prices go down again. Are chicken prices the only ones rising right now? What about pork?
 
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