Flooding in the Midwest, followed by a heat wave… severe drought across the south into Texas… these are the largest of a series of unusual weather that is hurting the farmers that grow our food. The USDA warns that crop yields will be sharply lower than it had previously predicted.
This is not an isolated phenomenon. Tight supplies of corn, soy, and wheat mean higher prices at the grocery store – not just for those products, but for products like dairy and meat that rely on agricultural products as an input. The Des Moines Register reports that beef prices are already up 20%. AP reports that the price of milk is up 38%, sugar is up 20%, and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup is up 22% – leading to a 7% rise in the price of ice cream.
In this poor economy, no one wants to pay more for food. But with severe weather hampering this year’s crops (again), it’s unavoidable.