GOP senators eye climate bill funding as way to fatten farm bill accounts
Farm-state senators will try to move $37 billion into the farm bill that originally was earmarked for a handful of USDA activities, including climate mitigation, in the climate, health and tax law last summer, said a Senate Agriculture Committee senior staffer on Monday.
Farmers face sharply higher interest rates on loans
The financial outlook for many farmers is favorable, thanks to high commodity prices, but higher interest rates are an ongoing concern, according to ag bankers surveyed by the Federal Reserve. Interest rates on loans to farmers were 3.5 to 4.5 percentage points higher in the opening months of this year than they were at the end of 2021.
Food inflation below 10 percent for first time since April
Although food inflation slowed for the sixth month in a row, it still was far above the annualized U.S. inflation rate of 6 percent, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. The food inflation rate of 9.5 percent was the lowest since last April, the last time the rate was below 10 percent.
Food inflation rate decelerates, though still high
The U.S. food inflation rate fell for the fifth month in a row to 10.1 percent for the past year, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Food, the second-largest consumer expenditure after housing, was a factor in the persistently high U.S. inflation rate. USDA analysts estimate food prices will rise by 7.1 percent this year, the highest in three decades although a slowdown from 2022.
Food affordability remains a global challenge
Fears of persistently high world food prices, sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and disruption of global supply chains, have subsided but food affordability remains a challenge at the household and macro-economic levels, said three analysts on Tuesday. “These risks will remain high” in …
Plan for prolonged period of higher interest rates, analysts tell farmers
The highest interest rates in years will complicate farm finances, and operators should expect higher rates to persist for several years as part of efforts to quash inflation, said a team of agricultural economists on Wednesday. Farmers will pay more when they borrow money, face higher break-even levels on investments, and feel downward pressure on the value of farmland, their largest asset.
Food price inflation slows, though prices still high
The food inflation rate declined in November for the third month in a row to its lowest level since June, said the Labor Department on Tuesday. Despite the improvement, food prices are 10.6 percent higher than they were a year ago, according to the Consumer Price Index report.
Farm income jumps 14 percent to record high
High commodity prices, due in part to warfare in Ukraine, will propel U.S. net farm income to a record $160.5 billion this year, despite a steep climb in expenses, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Farm income, a gauge of profitability, would be 14 percent higher than last year.
Interest rates are the top policy concern among farmers
Congress is on the cusp of overhauling the farm program but the top question among farmers about government action is interest rate policy, which lies outside the jurisdiction of the Senate and House Agriculture committees, said a Purdue University poll on Tuesday. Concern about interest rates coincided with the Federal Reserve campaign to squelch inflation through regular increases in interest rates.
Persistent food inflation will extend into 2023, says USDA
The high food inflation rate this year will bleed into 2023, said the Agriculture Department on Tuesday, raising its forecast for the new year to 3.5 percent. It was the first adjustment since USDA economists began inflation forecasts for 2023 in July.
Economy is top issue for rural voters, who expect worse to come — poll
By far, inflation is the No. 1 issue in rural America ahead of the midterm elections, said the Daily Yonder Rural Poll on Monday. Six of every 10 of the likely voters in the survey said they would vote for Republicans in congressional races, roughly the same margin won by former president Trump in 2020; three in 10 said they would vote for Democrats.
U.S. inflation fight darkens economic outlook, ag lender says
The Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates into 2023, "and the outlook for the coming year grows increasingly gloomy," said agricultural lender CoBank on Monday. The strong dollar "will pressure U.S. exports as the global economy struggles and U.S. goods remain expensive," it said, with warfare in Ukraine injecting additional volatility into world food supplies.
USDA: Highest grocery price inflation since 1974
Grocery prices will rise an average of 11 percent this year, the largest year-on-year increase since 1974, when prices soared by a torrid 14.9 percent, said the USDA. The monthly Food Price Outlook said grocery inflation would ebb to a near-normal 2.5 percent in 2023.
Political views shape how Americans see food inflation
Politically conservative Americans tend to overestimate and liberals to underestimate the annual inflation rate for food, according to a poll of 1,200 consumers by Purdue University. The difference in views is 3 to 4 percentage points, said Purdue researchers on Wednesday.
Food inflation rate is up while U.S. rate inches down
Food prices mushroomed by 11.4 percent in the past year, said the government's monthly inflation report on Tuesday. August was the 15th month in a row the food inflation rate increased, starting from 2.2 percent in May 2021.
Survey: Farmers’ outlook improves, but higher input costs loom as major concern
U.S. commodity growers are feeling a little better about their prospects for the coming year than they were last month, but a number of major concerns persist and overall farmer sentiment remains far gloomier than a year ago, according to the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer for August.
U.S. should increase aid to farmers and food assistance programs — survey
More than 60 percent of consumers across the political spectrum support increasing government support for both farmers and food assistance as a response to inflation, according to a survey released last week by the University of Illinois. Liberals had the highest rates of support for both, with 90.2 percent supporting increased funding for food programs and 85.3 percent supporting increased funding for farmers, the Gardner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey found. Conservatives had lower levels of support for both, but 64.4 percent still supported increased funding for food programs and 66.4 percent, increased funding for farmers.
Food inflation rate rises for 14th month; Americans pare grocery lists
More and more Americans are switching to generic brands or looking for discounts at the grocery store in response to sustained high food inflation, now running at 10.9 percent — the highest rate since the inflation-plagued late 1970s. Food prices continue to rise even though the overall U.S. inflation rate has slowed notably, said the Labor Department on Wednesday.
Groceries for July 4 cookout cost $10 more than last summer
The supermarket tally for an Independence Day cookout is a first-hand look at inflation — up by 17 percent from last summer, with the skyrocketing price of meat a leading reason. The American Farm Bureau Federation said on Monday that data from its volunteer price checkers nationwide indicated the groceries to feed 10 people at a cookout would cost $69.68, almost $10 more than last year.