Thursday, August 12, 2010

The recent wheat price increase...A case for buying local!

I would like to say a few things about the recent furor over rising wheat prices on the commodity market. As many of you may know, Russia suffered a severe drought this year and is reporting a huge crop loss in their wheat harvest. As the third largest wheat producing country on earth, this has a profound effect on the global wheat market. There has been a huge jump in wheat acreage planted in the Willamette Valley this past year due to very low prices on grass seed. I'm sure there are plenty of happy farmers in the valley who will be making another dollar or two per bushel on their wheat crop. The people who are REALLY making the money in this situation are the speculators. Farmers make slightly more, and the consumer pays slightly more, but the traders make MUCH more. This rise in wheat prices is for conventional wheat only, but it may have something of a trickle-down effect on the local organic grain market. There have been articles written in the past week or two that say consumers will feel the pinch at the grocery store through higher bread and meat prices. (Higher meat prices because higher feed grain prices affect meat prices). One of the goals of our farm and the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project is greater food security and stability in the valley. We are capable of producing a huge amount of food for the local market, but the bulk of the grain grown in the valley is exported, and the vast majority of the food consumed in the valley is imported. If you want to insulate yourself from the fluctuations in the world market to a greater degree, then buy food produced by local farmers! Help us build the local food system!

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