Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa on July 1, 1974 · Page 11
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Carrol Daily Times Herald from Carroll, Iowa · Page 11

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Carroll, Iowa
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Monday, July 1, 1974
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Page 11
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1*1 •u Food Prices Situation Filled With Confusion and Contradiction SIDE GLANCES by Gill Fox CARNIVAL by Dick Turner By LOUISE COOK Associated Press Writer Food prices: Everybody has a gripe. From the livestock producer who's losing money; to the supermarket operator whose costs are up; to the consumer struggling to stretch the family budget. The situation they face is full of confusion and contradiction: —The farmer is getting less money for his cattle, but the consumer is paying almost as much for meat as he did last year. —The livestock producers who raise the calves and fatten the cattle for market and the middlemen who slaughter the steer and sell the meat to you are faced with higher costs. Some are losing money. Even those doing better than last year say profits are lower than they were five years ago. —The administration is encouraging people to buy meat and has promised to buy $100 million of beef and pork to help boost the farmer's income. — Looking ahead, the government hopes large grain crops this year will cut the price of feed grains, making meat cheaper to produce. But even if this happens, nobody knows how much of that saving would be passed on to you at the retail meat counter. The question is whether inflation of other items can be controlled. Normally, farm, wholesale and retail prices go up and down together. It isn't working that way with meat. Why not? To understand what's happening to your meat budget now, you have to go. back to early 1973. A little more than a year ago, farmers were getting high prices for their cattle. Consumers, paying an average of $1.36 a pound for meat, got angry and organized a week-long meat boycott. The government, meanwhile, put ceilings on what packers could charge supermarkets and what supermarkets could charge you for beef, lamb and pork. Farmers, however, were allowed to charge more money for their livestock. The bottom was allowed to go up, but the top and the middle stayed put. The packers and retailers rebelled, refusing to pay more because they couldn't charge you more. Farmers held on to their animals, creating an oversupply on the farm. When controls came off last September, farmers sent all Times Herald, Carroll, la. . . ... ... , . ... „„ Monday, July 1,1974 • I $ L19 compared to $1.29 a year a greater supply than demand , ago; boneless chuck for $1.09 the cattle to market, there was 11 and farmers got less money than they expected. The backlog is still there. It got even bigger in December and February because of truckers strikes that kept meat from the market. Farmers are still getting less money than they did one year ago, but retail prices, until recently at least, were at or near 1973 levels. Where is your meat dollar going? Here is a government breakdown in cents: Another set of government figures shows that the farmer got about 8 cents less for a pound of beef this May than he did in April,, 1973. The retail price was down only one penny—from $1.36 a pound to $1.35. Why? Industry sources, who don't like to talk for attribution about this sensitive subject, give this explanation: Suppose you are a retailer who buys a product for $1 and resells it for $2. Of the dollar markup, 80 cents goes for costs of running your store; 20 cents is profit. Now, suppose the amount you pay for the product goes down to 50 cents. At the same time, however, your other costs go up to 90 cents. That's $1.40. Add your 20 cents profit and you have a $1.60 selling price. The wholesale price has dropped 50 cents, the retail price only 40 cents. That's what's happening to meat prices right now. The American Meat Institute, which represents the packers, broke down what happens to the 7.4 cents the packer gets of your meat dollar: Wages and salaries 3.7 cents Rent, depreciation and interest 1.5 cents Supplies and containers 1.0 cents All other expenses 1.6 cents Profit .3 cents The institute said it could not provide comparable figures for 1973. But a spokesman said wages alone had risen 12 per cent in the past year—from an average of $7.41 an hour last year to $8.29 this year for salaries and fringe benefits. Elias Paul, president of John Morrell Co., one of the largest packers, said that until this year the industry had been averaging a profit of between nine-tenths of a cent and 1.2 cents for every dollar of sales. This year, he said, earnings were less. The National Association of Food Chains, representing retailers, said labor costs ac- count for 65 per cent of the supermarket's share of the dollar. The rest goes to utilities, rent, depreciation, taxes, maintenance and repair, promotion and insurance. Clarence Adamy, president of the association, offered a breakdown of the percentage of nonlabor cost increases from 1973 to 1974: Hauling meat to store 17.9 Refrigeration cases 25.7 Meat coolers 10.5 Meat saws 15.7 Packaging 25.0 Utility rate's 10.0 to 60.0 industry profits are expected to rise 50 per cent this year, the association said. A spokesman said that in dollars and cents, this means the store will make three-fourths of a cent for every dollar in sales, instead of one-half cent. And a spokesman said that in 1968 and 1969, the retailer made about a penny for each dollar in sales. In response to complaintsiby livestock producers — ranchers who raise the calves and feedlot operators who fatten them for market—the government has launched investigations of whether the spread between the price the farmer gets and the price the consumer pays is too large. "It is high time that. . . lower farm prices show up more fully in lower retail store prices," said Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz on May 10. "While food prices at stores have leveled off some, margins are still higher than normal." An Agriculture Department spokesman said late last month that the problem with meat prices stemmed from "chains and packers, especially chains. Chains don't like to lower prices because they're afraid they'll have to raise them in the future." Supermarket spokesmen say this isn't true. They say they have lowered meat prices and claim the drop is more than the government says it is. "They don't 'give enough weight to specials," said A.D. Davis, chairman of the board of Winn-Dixie Stores, one of nation's 10 largest chains in terms of sales. Pantry Pride-Food Fair supermarkets, another of the top 10, pointed to prices for Philadelphia stores which it said were typical: Sirloin steak for $1.39 a pound, compared to $1.45 a year ago; rib roast for Sweet Tooth Answer to Previous Puzzle ACROSS 1 Fruit conserves 5 Alaska 10 White poplars 12 Reach destination 13 Gangster, Al 14 Count of Monte Cristo 15 Finnish lake 16 Palm fruit 17 Far East coin 18 Adolescent years 20 Grimace 23 Italian poet 24 Moslem magistrate 25 Royal house of Scotland (pi.) 28 Beloved of Daphnis 29 Sweet substance 30 Filled shells of pastry 32 Seed covering 33 Cake 34 Rain- soaked 35 Eucharistic plate 36 Sweet fruit 39 Greek goddess of discord 40 Inclined trough 42 Sugared candy 45 Sets of bells 46 Biblical mountain 47 Go back 48 Certain toys 49 Native minerals 9 Moinus, Iowa 10 Sports standouts 11 Narrow road 12 "Bell for DOWN 1 Asian country 2 Roman god of love 3 Of currency 4 Compass point 5 Mischievous children 6 British composer 7 Case for tools 8 Night before (NEWSPAl'EK ENTERPRISE ASSN.) 16 Cakes, for example 19 Superlative suffix 20 African country 21 Scent 22 American specialties 23 Chinese monetary unit 24 Short conversation 25 Irish playwright 26 Rent 27 Distinct part 28 Decisive point (coll.) 31 Hint 33 Swoon 35 Malayan vessels 36 Gaseous exhalations 37 Brain passage 38 Heroic deed 39 Spanish river 41 Bee home 42 Sea inlet 43 ColdlSp.) 44 Negative vote 45 Blood money compared to $1.29 a year ago. The consumer contributed to keeping meat prices high by eating more beef than ever before. The government figures per capita consumption figures based on the carcass weight of an animal—after such things as the hide are removed, but before the byproducts are discarded. Consumption of beef and veal rose steadily until last year. Here are_the figures: 1971: 116 pounds 1972: 118 pounds 1973: 111 pounds But this year, the figure is up again. The American National Cattlemen's Association, gave these per person figures for the first five months of this year, compared to 1972 and 1973: 1974: 47.37 pounds 1973: 45.16 pounds 1972: 47.10 pounds If Americans keep eating at the same rate, per capita consumption for 1974 would be about 114 pounds. But Americans traditionally eat more beef in the summer months when barbecues whet the appetite for red meat. Special Vote for Indians Set Tuesday TOLEDO, Iowa (AP)—The Tama County auditor's office reported 30-35 absentee ballots were cast Saturday for the court-ordered July 2 special primary election. U.S. District Court Judge Edward McManus Monday ordered the special primary in four Tama County precincts to assure Indians living in the Mesquakie settlement their right to vote. A spokeswoman in the auditor's office said Rep. Stephen Rapp, D-Waterloo, defeated Nicholas Johnson, former Federal Communications Commission chairman, by 52 votes in the original primary in the four precincts that will revote. ; The two are vying for the Democratic nomination for the 3rd District congressional seat. She said there are about 2,600 eligible voters in the four precincts, but she said a light turnout was expected for the special election. The spokeswoman said 10-15 absentee ballots were cast in the four precincts during the first election. r Junior Editors' Quiz on KILDEER V ''•' '<£> 1974 by N£A. l«.| T.M. IH) U.S. Pal. On. ' "He's perfect for commercials. He has good diction, a sincere smile and just the proper touch of illiteracy!" THE BORN LOSER "As if things weren't bad enough, another Jones has moved into our neighborhood!" by Art Sonsom QUESTION: What is a killdeer and where is it found? * * * ANSWER: The killdeer is a large plover or shore bird. It is the most widely known shore bird in the United States, and is found in plowed fields, pastures, pond edges, mud flats, park lawns or baseball fields. It lives in the whole of North America and winters from Virginia and California. southward to South America. It is about the size of a robin — the upper parts are grayish-brown, the under parts white with two black upper breast bands. A rich cinnamon brown patch at the base of the tail shows in flight. The killdeer received its name from its high pitched piercing notes which sound like Kill-dee, Kill-dee. When the moon is full these birds sometimes annoy people with their shrill calls through the day into the night. They are rapid runners and bob their heads as they walk. Killdeers lay their eggs in a shallow depression in the ground. The eggs are sharply pointed so the wind cannot roll them out of the nest. They are valuable birds because they 1'eed on insects injurious to crops. (Wayne Heatnn of Mill Hall, Pa., wins a prize fur this question. Yon can win $10 cash plus Al r s handsome World Yearbook if your question, mailed on a postcard to Junior Editors in care of this newspaper, is selected for a prize.) by Heimdohl & Stoffol BUGS BUNNY REIMBURSE THAT'LL &E ONE , BUCK, SYLVESTER/ AN UNCLE. IN AUSTRALIA IS GONNA LEAVE VA A LARGE SUM O" MONEY / HOW DELIGHTFUL/ SEE YA MOVIN NEW QUARTERS NEXT DOOR T A FISH MARKET/ INHERITANCE AND WORTH EVERV. PENNY/ by Al Vermeer PRISCILLA'S POP MV DEAR PRISCILUA! TMIS SM'T ALL LUNCW! THAT'S SOME LUNCH YOU'RE TO THE LIBRARY HOLLYHOCK! by Frank Hill SHORT RIBS THISWOMENS LIB STUFF IS GETTING OUT OF HAND/ MUST MAKE A PfHEVOLCANO GOD SVERY/9/WW/ by Howie Schneider EEK & MEEK tUHATS THIS MIDDLE EAST SOUP? O O C by Bob Thoves FRANK AND ERNEST frank t ernie's meal market CHARLES IE ROAST W* STOPPED CALLIfKr IT 4 'CHUCK" ROAST WHftM IT HIT NINfcTY-fclfrHT A POUND. by Dove Groue ALLEY OOP LIEUTENANT SOO! THE FLYING OFFICER HAS HOPE HE GETS WORD GENERAL. HAN SIN / EVERYTHING ALLEY OOP HAS JUST TOLD ONE OF HAN SIN'S WARRVORS ABOUT LIEUTENANT SOO'S PLAN TO KILL THE GENERAL

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