Farmer predicts hike in prices at grocery store - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Farmer predicts hike in prices at grocery store


Farmers across the country are feeling the pinch from the drought.

The drought has impacted crops as wells as pastures which livestock feed.

It's been especially hard for organic farmers who have strict rules on using pesticides and what their animals can eat.

Darin Von Ruden said cows on his organic farm haven't been doing well in this weather.

"I lost one six month old heifer calf in the middle part of July there that week that was really hot," Von Ruden said.

In addition to the heat being hard on the cows, their food supply has been affected.

On an Organic Farm, cows are supposed to eat 30-percent of their food from pastures, but for since July that number has shrunk to about ten percent.

"So we're having to feed more of our stored feeds that we normally start feeding in November, we've been having to feed that now already," Von Ruden said.

He said that's caused some cows to not put on as much weight as they should and others to produce less milk.

That means farmers have to spend more on feed, in turn raising prices at the grocery store.

"As far as dairy, those prices haven't really went up yet," Von Ruden said. "But they will eventually because farmers simply won't be able to afford to put the feed in front of the cows to get that maximum production out of them."

He predicts we'll see higher prices on milk in the next five months and grain products, like cereal, in the next three months.

"The main concern with organic producers is the economy and if the economy doesn't turn around or doesn't continue to move forward then we always lose that consumption base," Von Ruden said.

But Dolly Durley, organic consumer, said even if they do go up, it's worth it to spend the extra money on organic products.

"Especially if it's local," Durley said. "I think it's important to support that type of agriculture and I think long term it's just better for you, your body and the community."

Von Ruden said Durley's thought process has become a trend over the last few years.

"That's been going up on an annual basis about 15-20 percent as the consumer become more knowledgeable about what they're eating the more they've been turning towards organic," Von Ruden said.

But the best thing he says we can help farmers do is pray for rain.

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