Americans need to reach deeper into their wallets at the grocery checkout, but there’s no indication the shelves will be barren, according to farmer survey data that tracks production.
The United States is a major grain exporter, especially wheat, corn, and soy. As such, it would take a particularly extreme calamity to push the country into food shortage. Even though the conditions were particularly difficult this year, it appears farmers have been able to push through.
Farmers expect to get over 48 million metric tons of wheat and more than 368 million metric tons of corn this year. That’s about 1 percent down from the 5-year average for wheat, but 1 percent up for corn.
In fact, grain prices have started to decline a bit in recent weeks, though that may have more to do with expectations of an economic downturn, which could tighten demand.
Meanwhile, meat, eggs, and milk production have been holding up as well, though farmers are expected to collect about 3 percent fewer eggs this year, likely due to the avian flu outbreak that forced them to kill about 2 million laying hens earlier this year.
Price-wise, however, milk is up 13.5 percent, eggs some 33 percent, and chicken meat about 18 percent. Pork and beef are only up 4 and 10 percent respectively from a year ago, but measured against 2019, both hiked by over 25 percent.
The Ukraine war has disrupted grain exports from the country, particularly wheat. That also pushed global grain prices up. Ukraine is stuck with about 20 million tons of grain slated for export, Ukrainian media reported. By comparison, the world consumes about 770 million tons of wheat a year and keeps a stock of about 270 million tons, according to the USDA report.