Drought In America

American Drought

July 30, 2012

How the drought will affect food prices
Donna Wallace-King
Consumers could be paying more for groceries later this year. Food prices are expected to go up and serious drought conditions are to blame.

This summer’s drought has hit some Alabama farmers hard, threatening crops that need a lot of moisture. But it’s not just affecting local farmers. The drought is gripping more than half the country and covers around 60 percent of the continental U.S. It’s the largest drought-stricken area since the epic droughts of the 1930s and 1950s.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already predicted that people will pay three to five percent more for groceries next year, especially for things like milk, eggs, chicken, beef and pork. When dry conditions create bad crops, it drives up the price of feed. That means livestock are not eating as much and the less they eat, the less they produce, leading to less supply.

Experts say that three to five percent is significant, because it is above the rate of inflation. Industry leaders expect that consumers will have to make some tough spending decisions because of the increase.

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