KY agriculture outlook positive for 2011, but food costs on the - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

KY agriculture outlook positive for 2011, but food costs on the rise

Tommy Beard Tommy Beard
Scott Travis Scott Travis
Richie Farmer Richie Farmer

By Katie Bauer email | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – As experts predict a positive agricultural economic outlook for 2011 in our state . The USDA forecasts overall food costs are on the rise, too.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau is in the middle of their annual meeting and right now Kentucky's agriculture economy is looking bright for the first time since the 2008 recession, which is good news, but as food prices continue to increase, some consumers have concerns.

USDA is predicting the nationwide farm income to be up 24% this year, but in the same breath they say food costs are going up, too. For shoppers like Barbara Snead, that's tough news to swallow.

"I mean I really have cut back on the quality of food, I've really cut back on a lot of things, we don't even go out to eat anymore," said Snead.

Consumers should look for the biggest hikes in meat, cereal and dairy products. USDA thinks overall costs will rise 2-3%.

Valu-Market Meat Coordinator Tommy Beard says he'll be surprised if it's not more than that. "You have to shop for the deals and that's what a lot of customers do, they shop for what's special that week," said Beard.

In his 28 years in the business, the last three years, prices for beef, pork, and chicken have jumped tremendously.

"The farmer never gets the money that they really need, but for them to get more money, that raises the cost also," said Beard.

Spencer County farmer Scott Travis says inflation should be the last thing on the consumer's mind.

"So much work goes in to preparing those meals, not just cooking it, but all the way down to me as a farmer going out in the morning and getting my hands dirty, that's where it all starts," said Travis.

Kentucky's Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer agrees.

"We've been blessed for so many years to have the most abundant, most affordable food supply in the world," said Farmer.

All areas of agriculture are looking positive for the upcoming year in Kentucky, except tobacco. This market continues to suffer due to retail prices, tax hikes, smoking restrictions, and the overall economy.

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