Recent Numbers Predict Increase in Grocery Prices

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BOONE COUNTY - The USDA Economic Research Service predicts a 2.5 to 3.5 percent increase in grocery prices for the coming months. 

According to Mizzou Agricultural Econimist Scott Brown, meat prices alone could increase as much as eight percent next year, though he doesn't think that consumers will feel the jump immediately.  

Cattle farmer Jim Shaw says that he doesn't know what will happen in the markets, but this summer's drought has left him expecting high personal costs.

"The effect on me of this drought is gonna be a lot more than eight percent," Shaw said.  

Those costs come from the fact that Shaw has already started using feed and fields he would normally keep in reserve for winter.  Without extra feed, Shaw may have to decide how many cows he can afford to keep.  Shaw says that getting rid of cows now might mean less beef in the future, and therefore higher prices.   

Beef won't be the only thing taking a price hit.  The USDA ERS' Consumer Price Index, which predicts changes in retail food prices, shows a possible three to four percent increase in at home food prices for 2013.