San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


Seven of 16 grocery items recently surveyed by the Texas Farm Bureau increased in price by a total of 72 cents from June to September.

The remaining nine items surveyed either stayed the same or decreased in price. Grapefruit and sliced turkey increased the most in cost — by 24.7 and 14.26 percent, respectively.

“This latest Grocery Price Watch shows Texas food prices tracking in line with our basically flat economy,” said Kenneth Dierschke, Texas Farm Bureau president. “However, these prices likely don’t yet include the effects of the extreme drought we’ve experienced here in the southwest region of the United States.”

All surveyed meat items decreased in price except turkey during the third quarter. Though beef products decreased, Texas ranchers have warned this year’s drought may cause long-term price increases in the coming months and years, according to the Texas Farm Bureau.

The cost of a one-pound block of cheddar cheese increased 8.84 percent and a gallon of two percent milk increased 5.72 percent, according to the survey. A half-gallon carton of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream decreased 3.42 percent.

The survey data was collected by 39 shoppers from Sept. 1-9. The Texas Farm Bureau began using its Grocery Price Watch survey in March 2009. The survey is conducted quarterly by volunteer shoppers at grocery stores throughout the state.

According to the farm bureau, the drought has severely harmed Texas cattle ranchers. Dierschke said inadequate rainfall for stock ponds and grow pastures for grazing has led many ranchers to sell large portions of their herds.

“This will cause a supply shortage down the road, and for consumers, this could result in higher beef prices even after rain does fall,” Dierschke said.


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