Harsh winter could mean higher food prices

Chickens at Turner Farm in Indian Hill. FOX19 photo
Chickens at Turner Farm in Indian Hill. FOX19 photo

INDIAN HILL, OH (FOX19) - The lingering effects of the harsh winter will likely be felt in higher prices for some food items.

Inside the Turner Farm brooder they raise chicks which in six to eight weeks will be on somebody's dinner table.

Vanessa Caruso is a teamster on the farm which means she operates a horse-drawn plow. She says the cost of raising these chicks is going up.

"The feed prices have gone up about 3.5-percent since last year," she said.

Caruso says these chicks can go through a 50 pound bag of feed in a day and even more when it's cold.

"In order to keep production up either having the chickens producing eggs or the chicks gaining weight, we need to increase the feed because they need more calories in order to stay warm," she said.

Caruso says higher feed prices can eat into the farm's profits.

"You don't always make money I'll put it that way. You do your best to make a decent living but it doesn't always work out because you're dealing with factors beyond your control," she said.

Factors like the harsh winter which wiped out the farm's winter crops.

"Some greens and cabbages and kale and things like that," she said. "It was too cold for too long so we lost most of our vegetables."

Caruso says the extended cold weather also took a toll on the farm's supply of hay which supplements the diet of their sheep.

"We've probably fed them more hay this year than ever before. There were only a number of weeks I'm sure everybody remembers when there was not snow coverage on the ground so when there's snow covering their pastures they're not able to eat the grass that's out there so we've had to feed them hay."

The folks here at Turner Farm are trying to hold the line on prices but the profit margins for farming are kind of slim so a lot depends on the weather.

Turner Farm chickens, which are raised primarily outdoors, are in such demand customers have to order them weeks in advance but they are said to be well worth the wait.

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