Driving to your favorite steakhouse might be more energy efficient in the future--but cleaner air and better gas mileage will begin to cost you more for that t-bone platter. Higher corn prices are likely to be trickling down into areas--including prices for meat. The reason? corn is a main ingredient for making ethanol and corn is used for feeding livestock like cattle.
Jim Sartwelle is chief livestock economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation. He appeared on "Street Signs" to talk about the rising cost of corn. He says right now--prices for corn in the Texas panhandle have doubled since last fall. He said he expects price for chicken, cattle and port to rise between 5 to 10% by 2008. He gave an example: it used to cost cattle ranchers 40 cents to have a steer put on one pound from feed. It now costs 75-85 cents for the same pound.
It's not going to get pretty according to Sartwelle. He says Americans pay about 10% of their disposable income on food--and that's going to go higher.