Monday, September 17, 2012

Drought is likely to cost consumers next year

The massive drought that hit many U.S. farmers hard this summer will be felt by consumers next year in the form of higher food prices, according to The Food Institute. A family of four will likely spend $351.12 more on food in 2013, about $6.75 a week. The data was gathered by calculating the actual financial effect of the drought, which reduced corn yields, causing feed prices to rise, making livestock producers unable to afford it.

The increase will be felt most at meat counters, Lisa Keefe of Meatingplace reports. Annual costs of meat will rise about $44 next year for a family of four and about $30 for a two-person home. Beef costs would account for almost one-third of those estimates. Fresh produce will be the next most expensive, adding about $23.44 to a family's annual grocery spending. "These spending predictions could vary as substitutions are made in one category or another," Keefe reports, adding that consumers could choose to spend more on canned and frozen products to offset higher prices for fresh meat and produce. (Read more)

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