Easter Ham Prices on the Rise

The price of ham has gone up $0.25 in the past 5 years

An Easter ham may be out of reach this year — the Associated Press reports that the cost of ham is higher than normal right now, while costs of the pork product have risen $0.55 per pound over the last five years.

The AP reports that the wholesale cost of ham per pound has hovered about $0.75 to $0.80 per pound, well above the $0.55 per pound price that has held steady for five years. At certain Omaha supermarkets, most Hormel ham ranged about $2.20 per pound.

The reason for the sudden rise: increased feed prices, which have affected pork producers. The cost of a feed bushel reached a record $7.99 per pound last June, and has steadied at about $6 per pound today. Another possible explanation is that many farmers have taken on costly renovations to their farms to make them more humane, removing gestation crates and building more open pens for the animals.

The best time to buy a ham? The end of the year (Christmas ham, anyone?). Producers say prices peak in June, surprisingly after Easter, when demand is highest. However, more hogs hit the market toward the end of the year, so prices drop.

Need new ideas for your Easter brunch or dinner? Consider a leg of lamb recipe or the Lamb Youvetsi. If you're able to snag some ham, try a dijon, ham, and asparagus appetizer.