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Rising pasta prices could be blessing in disguise for Arizona farmers

PHOENIX – Consumers could soon see a price increase on one of America’s most affordable foods, but that could be blessing in disguise for Arizona.

According to the Associated Press, a poor yield this year of durum wheat in the Northern Plains and in Canada have left the grain used to make pasta in short supply.

With the short supply, consumers are likely to see a price increase on pasta in the coming months.

“This happens to be a year where the crop is short because of the bad weather,” said Tim Dunn, owner of Dunn Grain Company in Yuma, Ariz.

While the price increase may be an inconvenience to consumers, the short supply comes as welcomed news to some Arizona farmers such as Dunn.

Dunn said Arizona has one of the earliest wheat harvest seasons each year and that means farmers are planting extra crop now to be ready to replenish the short supply at harvest next year.

The higher demand will mean more sales, as well as higher prices when Arizona farmers harvest in June and July, according to Dunn.

“I think acres are probably going to be up 30 to 40 in wheat over the state,” he said.

He said an average year sees about 6,000 pounds of grain harvested per acre, but expect next year’s harvest to be closer to 7,000 pounds per acre.

“That’s good for Arizona, that’s good for the growers, that’s good for our farm,” Dunn said. “The price we had last year was kind of the break-even price and so the price going up is able to return a profit back to the farms.”

Once the supply of durum is replenished, Dunn said he expects consumers will see the price of pasta likely begin to drop by next fall.