Hoosiers may pay more to host Independence Day celebrations Tuesday, according to an annual survey from a key Indiana agricultural group.
The collection of a dozen classic summertime foods averaged almost $70, up 8% from last year — and higher than both Midwest regional and national averages, the Indiana Farm Bureau found. Volunteer shoppers around the state collected the prices — on ground beef, hamburger buns and more — in early June as part of a nationwide version of the survey.
“We have been doing it since 2013, and kept the products the same and the volume of the products the same in order to get some kind of reading of what’s happening to the food prices,” Indiana Farm Bureau Second Vice President Isabella Chism said. “And being an agriculture organization representing the farmers, it was good for us … to have a better understanding.”
All but two of the items — cheese and pork chops — were more expensive than last year. Cookies, hamburgers buns and lemonade were up the most. The basket of items is meant to serve a celebration of 10 people.
Farm Bureau Chief Economist Todd Davis said Hoosiers may see slightly lower prices ahead of Independence Day than in June, as grocers implement holiday discounts. Still, drought and inflation have rocked prices overall, he said — adding to the cost of some meats, labor, processing and transportation.
But don’t blame farmers for prices, the agricultural group says — citing U.S. Department of Agriculture data showing that farm production accounts for just 14.5% of retail food costs. That’s about $10 of this year’s summer cookout basket.
Chism said farmers take what they get for their products. Her Howard County farm grows sweet corn and soybeans.
“As soon as we take it out of the field, that price is already set for us,” she said. “… Those prices — it doesn’t matter how desperately they need it. It doesn’t matter, any of that, when we take it in to sell it. That’s the price we get.”
That means the group is looking closely at the nation’s next farm bill. The omnibus bill is done every five years, and the $867 billion edition approved in 2018 extends only through this year.
But will farmers take Independence Day off?
“We celebrate that every day,” Chism said.
“… But as far as actually taking off on that day, I would have to say maybe it depends on what needs to be done,” she added. “The animals still need to be fed and some things will still need to be done, rain or no rain.”
Farm Bureau’s summer cookout basket:
- Cheese (1 lb): -1%
- Chicken breast (2 lbs): +5%
- Chips (16-oz bag): +15%
- Cookies (13-oz package): +17%
- Ground beef (2 lbs): +12%
- Hamburger buns (1 package): +30%
- Ice cream (Half-gal): +4%
- Lemonade (2.5 qts): +17%
- Pork and beans (32 oz): 14%
- Pork chops (3 lbs): -0.2%
- Potato salad (2.5 lbs): +11%
- Strawberries (2 pts): +0.3%
This story originally was published by Indiana Capital Chronicle, which is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Indiana Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Follow Indiana Capital Chronicle on Facebook and Twitter.