Milk and meat prices up? Feed prices rise to 9-year high due to extreme weather

Feed prices in the country have risen to a nine-year high due to extreme weather events leading to crop damage. Rising feed prices show the plight of agricultural households and livestock farmers who are already struggling due to uncertain weather and bumpy skin disease.

The wholesale price index or WPI-based feed inflation stood at 25.54 percent in August 2022, the highest in the past nine years. Feed inflation has been rising since December 2021 but has moderated in recent months.

Feed prices have a direct influence on milk and meat prices as feeding the cattle becomes more expensive. If prices are not raised, it will be the farmers who will bear the losses.

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Burning stubble is also reported to contribute to feed deficiencies. For the novice, feed prices are almost equal to food grain prices. According to reports, the price of wheat per quintal is Rs 2,200 while dry feed costs Rs 2,000 per quintal. The price of mustard oil cake has also almost doubled as it cost Rs 3000 per quintal up from Rs 1600 per quintal earlier. Green fodder prices have skyrocketed by more than Rs 20,000 per acre.

Wheat straw or dry food that used to be around Rs 5-7 per kg is now sold in many places for around Rs 15-16 per kg. The feed shortage is likely to keep prices high and if this continues, milk and meat prices could soon rise.

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