The American Farm Bureau Thursday released its quarterly food price survey, finding higher overall cost for a representative basket of groceries when compared to results from the first half of the year.
The informal survey shows the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.20, up $1.66 or about 3% compared to a survey conducted about six months ago. Of the 16 items surveyed, 11 increased and five decreased in average price.
Higher prices were noted specifically for dairy and poultry products.
"Several poultry and dairy product items increased in price during the second half of the year, accounting for much of the increase in the marketbasket," said John Anderson, AFBF's deputy chief economist in a press statement. "As anticipated, food prices have increased by about 3% so far during the year, which is slightly higher than the average rate of inflation over the past 10 years," he said.
Items showing retail price increases included chicken breasts, up 61 cents to $3.93 per pound; Russet potatoes, up 49 cents to $3.18 for a 5-pound bag; bacon, up 43 cents to $4.71 per pound; whole milk, up 25 cents to $3.71 per gallon; vegetable oil, up 20 cents to $3.12 for a 32-ounce bottle; orange juice, up 19 cents to $3.47 per half-gallon; white bread, up 18 cents to $1.83 for a 20-ounce loaf; toasted oat cereal, up 18 cents to $3.09 for a 9-ounce box; bagged salad, up 12 cents to $2.83 per pound; shredded cheddar cheese, up 4 cents to $4.51 per pound; and flour, up 4 cents to $2.66 for a 5-pound bag.
Modest decreases were reflected in the following items: deli ham, down 68 cents to $4.71 per pound; sirloin tip roast, down 28 cents to $4.35 per pound; ground chuck, down 5 cents to $3.69 per pound; apples, down 4 cents to $1.59 per pound; and eggs, down 2 cents to $1.82 per dozen.
AFBF points out that as retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America's farm and ranch families receive has dropped.
"Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16%, according to the Agriculture Department's revised Food Dollar Series," Anderson said.
Using the "food at home and away from home" percentage across-the-board, the farmer's share of this $53.20 marketbasket would be $8.51.
According to USDA, Americans spend just under 10% of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world. A total of 79 shoppers in 25 states participated in the latest survey, conducted in September.