Grocery Price Inflation – April 26, 2019

Grocery price inflation is becoming less volatile

The United States is headed for the fifth year in a row of lower-than-average increases in grocery prices, part of a longer trend of smaller and less volatile changes in food inflation, said two USDA economists.

Wet fields mean corn planting will run late

A larger-than-usual portion of the U.S. corn crop will be planted so late that yields could be depressed, said two University of Illinois economists on Thursday. “A reasonable estimate is that late corn planting in 2019 will be at least 5 to 10 percent above average.”

World grain stockpile forecast to be smallest in five years

Record-high demand for grain during the 2019/20 marketing year will draw down world grain reserves to their lowest level in five years, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. It would be the third straight year of declines in global carryover stocks.


Teaching Dems to talk rural (Axios): Two former farm-state senators, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly, are launching the One Country Project, focusing on the Senate and White House races, to win back rural votes for Democrats in the 2020 elections. Heitkamp says Democrats must be “a 50-state party, and not just an urban party,” to win.

Brazil, Congo lead in forest loss (WRI): Although the losses were notably smaller than in 2016 and 2017, Brazil lost 1.3 million hectares of tropical primary rainforest in 2018, the most in the world, followed by Democratic Republic of the Congo, which lost more than 481,000 hectares, said Global Forest Watch.

Urban foraging (PLOS Blogs): University of California researchers found drought-resistant edible weeds in “food desert” areas of Oakland, Richmond, and Berkeley, on the east side of San Francisco Bay. The plants, including mallow, wild lettuce, dandelion, and sweet fennel, were nutritious and safe to eat, said the researchers.

Right-to-farm law shelters Indiana CAFO (Hoosier Ag Today): The Indiana state Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a large hog farm in west-central Indiana in a case that accused the farm of creating a nuisance and questioned if the state’s right-to-farm law is constitutional.

Tyson plans alternative-protein product (Food Business News): Meat processing giant Tyson Foods sold its share of Beyond Meat, a developer of plant-based protein, and said it plans to offer an alternative-protein product of its own, with test-marketing expected this summer.

Biofuels group seeks injunction against waivers (Reuters): The Advanced Biofuels Association asked a federal appeals court for an injunction to stop the EPA from issuing waivers that exempt small-volume refineries from complying with the federal ethanol mandate.

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