Texas food supply impacted by deep freeze

Agriculture

I’m Clinton Griffiths with today’s AgDay Minute.

Hundreds of thousands of people remain without power in Texas, as the state continues to recover from an Arctic blast that caused the state’s power grid to buckle. The loss of power is impacting food supply chains, with the state’s ag commissioner issuing a red alert. He says dairy farms around the state are having to dump 8-million dollars worth of milk every day because the plants that process it don’t have power.

Ice also hit the Rio Grande Valley, where a lot of fruits and vegetables are grown. One grower, estimating the orange harvest was about 55-percent compete when the cold weather arrived, rendering the fruit you see on the trees, useless.

Kraft Heinz and Conagra say they may raise prices this year on some products because of inflation. With more people cooking at home and stockpiling going on around the world, prices for things like sugar, wheat, and soy have surged U.S. consumers paid about 3.7 percent more for food last month. But there could soon be good news at the grocery store. USDA, saying food price inflation could retreat over the course of the year, moving closer to the 20-year historical average. You see that possible drop-off in blue. But it says the economic response to the pandemic will continue to influence prices, along with restaurant re-openings supply chain adjustments, and unemployment.

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