Cost of corn could mean more become meat-free in 2013

Image of corn

The price of corn is spiraling in the drought-hit US, making feeding livestock an increasingly expensive business and driving up the price of meat.

Experts say animal products will be significantly more expensive in 2013 as a result, making it more likely that consumers will be turning towards non-meat meals.

Last Friday the US government cut its estimate of how much corn its agricultural sector would produce to its lowest level since 1995, and its soybean estimate to the lowest level since 2003, following the country’s worst drought for 50 years.

Although prices will dip in the short term as cash-strapped farmers cull their herds to save on feed, the mass killing of cattle this year is another factor that will contribute to the hike in 2013… as well as serving as another reminder of the importance of changing the way we farm and eat.

Dairy economist Scott Brown has said food in general will be 4 per cent more expensive next year, and products such as beef, pork and chicken could go up by as much as 8 per cent.

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