Consumers will pay record-level prices for beef and pork through 2015, says a University of Missouri think tank.  Shoppers will swap beef and pork for more chicken and turkey, which costs less, said the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) in a mid-year update of its agricultural baseline.


“Higher retail meat prices contribute to an uptick in consumer food-price inflation in 2014 but the projected rate drops below 2 percent again in 2015,” said FAPRI. Pork and poultry prices will fall in 2015 but beef prices are expected to climb to an average $5.95 per pound, up 10 cents from this year.

According to the report, farmers could see the lowest prices since 2009 for corn and soybean crops that are forecast to be the largest ever. After hitting bottom at $3.89 a bushel for this year’s crop, corn prices would remain around $4 a bushel for the next three years. Soybean prices, forecast for $10.30 a bushel for this year’s crop, would drop to $9.64 for the 2015 crop. While farmers are headed for an era of lower commodity prices, corn and soybeans still would be twice as high as they were before the agricultural boom began in 2006.

The report also includes future production projections for biodiesel and ethanol, which according to FAPRI are dependent on implementation of the 2014 farm bill and EPA’s pending decision on 2014 biofuels volumes.

The report suggests:  biodiesel produced from corn oil is expected to more than double by 2019; the use of mid-level ethanol blends will increase from 16 million gallons in 2014 to 690 million gallons in 2019; ethanol exports are expected to increase to more than 1 billion gallons in 2016 and slightly taper off in years thereafter; cellulosic ethanol production will barely reach 100 million gallons by 2019, or just 1 percent of its RFS statutory mandate; and  corn ethanol production is expected to total 14.6 billion gallons by 2019, slightly less than its 15 billion gallon RFS mandate.