The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released its preliminary report on March farm prices. The index uses prices from 1990-1992 as its base value (100). The March price index rose 3 points (1.5%) to 202 month-over-month, with the crop index up 2.1% and the livestock index up 1.95. The all-products index rose 9.8% year-over-year in March, to 240.
Farm costs, measured by the prices paid index were unchanged month-over-month at 221, but that’s 3.8% higher than March of 2012. Higher prices for nitrogen fertilizer, feed grains, and other fertilizers and supplements led the prices-paid hike.
Food processors and consumers paid more for feed grains and hay and commercial vegetables in March. The rising cost of feed is at least partially attributable to last summer’s drought and the impact it had on corn and hay crops. Lettuce and tomatoes led the rise in vegetable prices.
Meat prices fell in March…
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