Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

How much will food prices rise due to the Midwest drought and how are commodity prices set?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Sep 4, 2012 8:14 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, September 5:

The drought that has left more than half the country parched will impact Central Pennsylvania in the form of higher food prices in the coming months.  While 3-4 inches of rain is forecasted for the region this week, parts of the Midwest and South haven’t received that much rain this year.

Corn has been especially hard hit and that’s bad news because corn is used for more than just human consumption.  Corn feeds livestock, is used in ethanol production and is an ingredient in many products.

On Wednesday’s Radio Smart Talk, the discussion will focus on how Pennsylvanians will be affected by the drought, especially at the grocery store.  The broader conversation will be what actually determines commodity prices.

There are other factors at work too – the cost of diesel fuel actually contributes more to the price of a box of corn flakes than what wholesalers pay for corn.  From a consumer’s point of view, there’s no reason for optimism there because diesel fuel used in farm equipment is hovering around $4 per gallon.

Appearing on the Wednesday program will be Jon Hart, the owner of Keystone Commodities and Chris Brand of Giant Food Stores.

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