Pork Prices Headed Up

By Matt Porter

September 26, 2012 Updated Sep 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM EDT

Nanticoke, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Farmers say a drought in the Midwest has caused a sharp jump in the price of feed for pigs and cows.

Pete Reynolds knows pigs.

And he knows well enough that the costs of feeding his pigs might just be nearing its breaking point.

"We'll at least be breaking even, or making a little bit," said Reynolds. "Right now, it's just a break even sort of thing."

It all stems from the cost of feed. A price that has doubled since he first started farming.

Now a major drought in the Midwest might just kill the corn used in feed.

"Corn may become unavailable, and if it does that, than it becomes really expensive. More so, than it is now," Reynolds said.

And it's not just farmers, but restaurants and grocers said costs are passed on to them.

Jimmy Anastos, co-owner of the Broadway Diner in Endicott, said his retaurant ends up eating much of the costs when prices spike.

"We take the hit on prices because we can't change our menu weekly or monthly," Anastos said.

At PMP Deli where they are already dealing with sky high beef prices, the possibility of pork piling on isn't pretty.

"Then a lot of us are going to have a big problem," said Peter Zalaffi, owner of PMP Deli, "We're going to eat a lot of chicken."

Back on the farm, Reynolds has gone from raising 50 pigs last year to about 30 this year.

If prices don't stabilize, he might not raise any pigs for market next year.

"You can only raise prices in this area so much, this area won't support large price increases."

One of the issues with corn prices is actually our cars.

The ethanol added to gasoline is made from corn and is sucking up much of the already scarce corn crop.

Farmers say there's little to be done this year to fix the problem. So you can expect higher meat prices to stretch into the holiday season.

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