Local News

Increased food demand means increased costs for farmers

Posted August 17, 2011

— Local farmers say they are feeling the brunt of the increased demand of corn and soybeans from overseas, particularly China.

CBS News reported Tuesday that, for the past three years, the country has been importing more than half of the United States' soy exports.

Although it means more business for corn and soybean farmers, it also means higher feed costs for livestock and, likely, higher food costs for consumers.

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the price of a bushel of corn has gone up $4.76 over the past five years – from $2.42 in August 2006 to $7.18 in August 2011.

The prices for soybeans have also skyrocketed $7.68 – from $5.38 a bushel in August 2006 to $13.06 today.

Corn, soybean demand is 'double-edged sword' for local farmers Increased corn, soybean demand is 'double-edged sword'

Michael Jones says the cost to feed the 165 hogs on his Louisburg farm amounts to about $1,000 a week.

And although sales have been the best they have ever been, he's not turning a profit because of the high costs of corn and soybeans. Other factors, such as rising gas prices, are also forcing him to scale back operations, cutting out extra hands on the farm.

"It is getting more difficult for someone like myself to provide cheap food to people," Jones said. "I know a lot of people have already folded."


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Capt Mercury Aug 18, 2011

    And what about increased profits to farmers who are selling these products in so much demand?

  • fayncmike Aug 18, 2011

    Though the production of bio fuels is a good idea it's implantation is basically flawed. The use of corn to produce bio fuels has wrecked the small to medium size farm economies. This of course is reflected in consumer prices. Bio fuels can be produced from most any organic matter including all sorts of waste matter. That would have been the way to go.

  • vraptor Aug 18, 2011

    What are farmers supposed to grow? Pot? Corn & soybeans are the next most profitable per acre. Ethanol is the major drain on corn. There are a lot of items that go into the cost of producing crops. Like fuel, regulations, & taxes. All which have gone up. Thanks gov.

  • Jim Britt Aug 18, 2011

    Boy, the mart of competitive commerce can be hard to get along with sometimes.

  • angieamericangirl Aug 18, 2011

    You need to raise your prices to China. Way Way up.!!! Let them feel the crunch.

  • boatrokr Aug 18, 2011

    Why the heck aren't we growing corn and soybeans HERE????

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 17, 2011

    Now wait a minute, does someone else see something wrong with this picture. Most people raise hogs, are raising their own feed for those hogs, or at least we did. Is he saying he selling his corn, then paying higher prices for feed? Why? The increase in fuel cost I can understand.

  • bigal02282 Aug 17, 2011

    Well, we wanted a way to get out of debt to China. $200/bushel soybeans and corn sound kinda good to me.