July 4th food costs up 17%; farm bureau says don't blame farmers

Ready to grill out for July 4th? Then get ready to shell out more cash for your favorite foods.

The American Farm Bureau says a typical cookout's costs is up about 17%. The price of chicken is up 33% compared to 2021. Nationwide, for two pounds of chicken, you are paying about $9. Last year at this time, it would have cost you $6.74.

"It was always tough. Tough sleeping at night, worrying if I can get product, the raising prices," said Chip Bunzel of Bunzel's Old-Fashioned Meat Market.

Bunzel's original brats are still what they have been for the past few years – $4.99 a pound. The prime ribeye prices are cooling down. Bunzel said it was once $37 a pound and is now down to about $30.

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Surviving the pandemic, supply shortages, and now inflation – Linda Bedwell is getting ready to host, and estimates it's costing her twice as much as last year.

"You can’t have Fourth of July without brats," Bidwell said. "You just figure out a way to pay for it. It’s like gas and everything else. I don’t think we have any options, so you just kind of deal with it. But you have to give up other things, then. That’s part of the problem."

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau says do not blame the farmers. 

"The cost of fuel is up, fertilizer has nearly tripled in the last year. So even though we’re beginning to see higher prices, its not even beginning to cover the expenses on the farm," said Cassie Sonnentag of the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) says Russia is the largest exporter of fertilizer.

The Farm Bureau offers tips for smart shopping. "Plan out every trip to the grocery store, to help you expand that food dollar as much as possible. So, stick to your grocery list, creatively repurpose leftovers," 

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The American Farm Bureau survey found the total for 12 cookout items for ten people totaled just shy of $70. That is about $10 more for the same items last year.