A popular summertime treat is getting more expensive and the demand for corn to produce ethanol is getting at least some of the blame. Kim Peter, with Anderson Erickson Dairy in Des Moines, says the ingredients used to make ice cream are all rising in cost. She says milk prices have increased 75 percent in the last year.
Part of the reason for the increase is the cost of feeding cattle. Corn feed has doubled in price over the last year as demand has grown for corn to be used in ethanol production. Lesley Bartholomew is the Director of Public Relations for Wells Dairy in LeMars.
"Many of the ingredients we put into our product, such as non-fat milk power, whey, butter fat…all of them have increased significantly in price over this past year," Bartholomew says. She credits the exporting of dairy solids and the higher cost of corn to feed cattle. Peter predicts the cost of ice cream at the store will drop again in a few months.
"We think milk prices have peaked," Peter says, "and we’re hopeful we’ll begin to see decreases in the Fall." In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.