Locally grown likely costing more this season

An extension educator worries how higher costs will impact growing demand for local foods spurred during the pandemic.

“Locally grown produce is not always the lowest cost option and it’s very, very challenging for market for growers.”

Community Food Systems Educator Mariel Borgman with Michigan State University tells Brownfield pricing products is challenging for farmers as they balance higher labor and input costs with fair prices for consumers.

“All of their inputs are going up too, so farmers are going to have increase their prices as well,” she says.

She says a CSA model, or Community Supported Agriculture, is one way farms are guaranteeing a profit.

“When you plant the seed, you don’t know how it’s going to do, you don’t know how the weather is going to be for that year, so being able to presell that product ahead of time is a really, really successful strategy,” she shares.

Borgman says diversifying where farms sell directly like at farm stands, farmers’ markets, online, and to restaurants can also help.

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