Corn prices boost costs of other items - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Corn prices boost costs of other items

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June 17, 2008

Thomasville-- Corn farmers in Georgia have recently seen the price of their crop rise to levels no one ever imagined.  "As a result of ethanol use, corn was rallying above $5.  But now that we have the flood damage in the Midwest, that's caused the price to go above $7," said  Thomas County Extension Coordinator Don Clark.

Most corn for the U.S. is grown in the midwest, and that's where the prices are set.  But for those Georgia farmers who do grow it, the new price is helping pay the bills.  "It probably is a good thing, because if they can sell it at a higher price, their fertilizer price is two and a half times what it was a year ago. So with fertilizer costs as high as they are, we need all we can get for the corn," said Clark.

But it's less than positive news for consumers.  Clark said, "Corn will drive a lot of the other food costs up."  Expect to see products like corn meal and cereals that are made from corn go up in price, but that's not all.  "Livestock and poultry that are fed rations that are primary corn, we'll see higher meat prices as a result of these high corn prices."

Grocers and places like Lewis Produce at the Thomas County farmer's market hope they've seen the worst of it.  "We'd like for it to stay the same but you never know about the market it changes everyday with the weather, whatever happens," said Cindy Lewis.

Experts say with rising grain prices and no end in site for high fuel costs, don't expect to get a break on your grocery bill anytime soon.  Clark said while you've no doubt already seen a hike in food prices, that is a result of fuel costs.  The effect of corn prices probably won't show up at grocery stores for about 3 or 4 months.

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