In its effort to contain inflation, the Federal Reserve has launched what many expect to be an ongoing series of interest rate increases, which are already taking a toll on stock and housing markets, with job losses likely to follow. As weary as Americans have become from paying record high gas and grocery prices, however, another round of price hikes is making its way through the food supply chain and is expected to reach consumers this fall.
“People don’t realize what’s fixing to hit them,” said Texas farmer Lynn “Bugsy” Allen. “They think it’s tough right now, you give it until October. Food prices are going to double.”
The 8.8 percent increase in food prices that Americans have already seen does not take into account the dramatic cost increases that farmers are now experiencing. This is because farmers pay their costs upfront and only recoup them at the point of sale, months later.
“Usually, what we see on the farm, the consumer doesn’t see for another 18 months,” said John Chester, a Tennessee farmer of corn, wheat, and soybeans. But with the severity of these cost increases, consumers could feel the effects much sooner, particularly if weather becomes a factor.