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Mar 142011

(Columbia, MO) — Food prices and farm incomes are both set to rise in 2011, the latter to perhaps record levels.

And, says Scott Brown, an associate director at the University of Missouri's Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute, "the average consumer assumes 'these higher farm prices got me higher food prices?' It's not that simple." Energy prices – manifest in processing and transportation costs – are also a huge influence fueling FAPRI's prediction of 3 to 4 percent food inflation in 2011.

That rate is forecast to hang around 3 percent in 2012 and drop to 2 percent – in line with the overall inflation rate – by 2013. "In spite of higher prices, we're seeing export growth (as)?one of the reasons supporting recovery," says FAPRI Director Pat Westhoff.

(Rebecca Townsend, Missouri News Horizon)