Perhaps you've seen the headlines: "Drought worsens in key farm
states"; "Crop-withering drought intensifies in Plains"; "U.S. drought drives
up food prices worldwide."
Those are just a few courtesy of The Association Press and CNN Money.
In fact, no less of a source than the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported that consumers can expect to pay 3 percent to 4 percent more for groceries next year thanks to the drought that has gripped the country.
"In 2013 as a result of this drought we are looking at above-normal food price inflation. ... Consumers are certainly going to feel it," USDA economist Richard Volpe said.
"It's a disaster," Rick Tolman, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, told The Associated Press.
Tolman said farmers started out the season anticipating a record 14 billion bushel corn crop. The drought is expected to cut production by roughly 3 billion bushels.
Shopper Maria Garcia said that she is concerned.
"A lot of us live on tight budgets," she said. "Prices go up and we have to cut back somewhere, but you still need your groceries."
Bob Baur, owner of Toucan Market at 1701 E. University Ave., said that the effect might not be too bad in the Las Cruces area, which is surrounded by agriculture and thus some products will not be affected by national prices.
"That's the good thing about local produce," he said.
As for the overall scene, Baur said that it is not uncommon for there to be fluxuations
"Prices are going to go up and go down," he said.
Chris Biad operates Biad Chile Co. and Biad Chili Products LLC. He said his crop has not suffered.
"It's about the same amount of acres," he said. "The drought hasn't hurt (the crop)."
Worldwide, though, there is a lot of concern. MarketWatch reports that global food prices rose 6 percent in July, driven by sharp increases in grain and sugar prices.
-- The Associated Press contributed to this report
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