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Higher prices paid to farmers won't hurt consumers

(Wednesday, March 26, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The national average retail price of bread rose 0.6 cents in February compared with January, according to a story yesterday by Bakingbusiness.com, which cited the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The price of whole wheat bread rose 1.4 cents over January.

This is significant, said Dan McGuire, policy chairman of the American Corn Growers Association: "Official USDA wheat price data and information from baking business.com shows that a near $1 per bushel increase in the price paid to farmers for a bushel of wheat results in only a 4 cent increase in the price of a 1 lb. loaf of white pan bread and a 1.1 cent per loaf increase in a the price of a l lb. loaf of whole wheat bread to consumers [January and February of 2003 compared to the same months in 2002]. In other words, a $2 increase in the price of wheat paid to farmers is easily justified considering the fact that it would raise the price of bread less than a dime per loaf. The same logic holds true for raising the price of other grains through a restoration of true price support, non-recourse commodity loans in federal farm policy. This is what needs to be done at the first opportunity."