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Higher Gas Prices Could Mean Higher Prices For Groceries

By: Whitney Daniels
By: Whitney Daniels

Brace yourselves, gas prices are at it again! You will even start paying more for products at the grocery store soon because of higher fuel prices.

"We milk about 200 cows a day," said Dairy Farmer Mac Pate.

For 58-years, Pate has been dairy farming and over the years, he's seen a lot of changes.

"When I started, we were still milkin' in pans and pails. Now, you're in pipelines with automatic take-offs and hold tanks. It's quite a bit different," he said.

Another big difference is the cost.

"Last year I consider the poorest year I ever had," Pate said.

And with higher gas prices, a demand for ethanol, and the increased production of bio-diesel, it's not going to get any cheaper.

"It's created a situation where the cost of feed to the dairy producer has gone up substantially in the last few months and that ultimately will lead to slightly lower milk production across the U.S," said Dr. Gary Rogers with the University of Tennessee.

Which means when it hits the shelves, you will see the difference.

You need three glasses of milk a day according to USDA nutritional guidelines. But with a higher price, will you still buy enough? Experts say yes.

"Generally speaking, consumers tend to continue to consume milk and dairy products partly because they're such a good deal already," Rogers said.

Meanwhile, farmers need to provide the right nutritional needs to their cows. Corn costs have doubled and feed costs represent about half the production costs for farmers making it tough all the way around

"I have sold milk much higher than I'm getting for milk right now," Pate said.


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