Grocery Store Prices Expected to Rise 3-5 Percent Thanks to Drought

By Scott Sarvay

July 26, 2012 Updated Jul 26, 2012 at 7:55 AM EST

UNDATED (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - We've told you that the extreme heat this summer is expected to impact your next trip to the grocery store. Now have a more accurate picture of how much those prices will be increasing.

It's been a scorcher of a summer, about 80% of the country is running abnormally dry and 63% of the country is officially in drought.

The wild weather has caused havoc...and the next place to get hit? Your wallet.

The Department of Agriculture announced that the record drought will have a significant impact on next year's food prices, with beef, dairy and poultry increasing between 3- 5%.

But already prices are skyrocketing. Since June, the government says the price of a bushel of corn has soared 38 percent and beans 24 percent!

In California, the spike in corn prices has had a major effect on dairy farmers who use it to feed their animals.

Dairy farmer Stephen Maddox says, “My grain bill is double what it was 5 years ago.”

Even chickens are struggling in the extreme heat.

Farmers say hot chickens produce fewer eggs!

One farming family says, “We used to get probably close to 30-40 dozen eggs a week and right now, because of the heat, we're getting about 7-8 dozen eggs.

The extreme weather is also causing insects to infest crops.

In California and Texas grasshoppers are feasting on crops.

One farmer’s insect problem caused him to lose out on $10,000.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the federal government will provide the assistance it can, but it just can't make it rain.

Vilsack said he’s saying an extra prayer now. “If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance, I would do it.”




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