Higher grain prices means more expensive Thanksgiving dinner this year

November 24, 2010

Emily Wilensky

Higher grain prices helped bump up the cost of Thanksgiving dinner this year. According to the American Farm Bureau you'll pay about 1.3 percent more for the traditional fixings this year. John Anderson is an economist with the American Farm Bureau, and he said high grain prices aren’t the only contributing factor to higher food prices.

The economic downturn is also to blame. “If you look at the 2009 in the pork and poultry sectors the cutback in production was fairly dramatic and that I think is the primary situation behind the prices we have now,” Anderson said.

Greg Gunthorp runs a small organic farm in northern Indiana and said there could be an upside to higher grain prices. “If grain prices are higher it actually creates a definite advantage to the diversified livestock farms that are actually producing their own grain, which is definitely a more sustainable model,” Gunthorp said.

So far the increases in the cost of feed for livestock farmers haven’t had much of an impact on consumers. But some farmers say if feed costs continue to rise they will have to reduce production and that could mean higher prices at the grocery store.