Food prices expected to rise as U.S. suffers through worst drought in half a century

July 19, 2012IOWAThe worst drought in a half century will continue to plague most of the U.S. Midwest crop region for at least the next 10 days, with only occasional showers providing some relief mainly in the east, an agricultural meteorologist said on Thursday. America’s top two corn and soybean producing states, Iowa and Illinois, are now in the center of the drought as the dryness spreads to the northwest to leech what little moisture remains in already parched soils. “It looks a little wetter today for Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, but the west is still dry with above-normal temperatures,” said Jason Nicholls, meteorologist for AccuWeather. Rain for the next 10 days will run the gamut from just 40 to 75 percent of normal, with the greatest stress in the western Midwest crop states such as top producer Iowa. “It got up to 102 to 103 degrees Fahrenheit in Iowa yesterday with no rain, and will be in the 90s today with no rain,” Nicholls said. Rainfall overnight Wednesday left up to 1.5 inches in Chicago and an inch in Rockford, Illinois. “Only isolated rains, no drought buster,” he stressed. In addition to rain in northeastern Illinois, showers fell in southern Wisconsin, Indiana and southwestern Michigan. “It will be cooler on Friday but the heat will be back for the weekend into early next week. The 11- to 15-day forecast shows the ridge moving west over the Rockies so that may help cut back on the heat, but there is still no significant rain in sight,” he said. An atmospheric high pressure ridge has entrenched itself over the heart of the U.S. corn and soybean producing states, preventing moisture from moving into the crop belt, leading to a buildup of heat, causing crop losses and spawning record-high corn and soy prices. Commodity Weather Group (CWG) on Thursday predicted the heat would last longer next week than had earlier been forecast. More than half of the Midwest was severely dry. “The most concern is in west central Indiana, much of Illinois, far northern Missouri, most of Iowa, southwest Minnesota, southern South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas,” said CWG meteorologist Joel Widenor. As the drought, rated the worst since 1956, expands to the northern and western Midwest, areas that had previously been spared, analysts were slashing corn yield estimates by the hour. Some were also starting to cut their forecasts on the number of acres that will be harvested as farmers opt to plow under some of their parched fields to claim insurance. –Reuters
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6 Responses to Food prices expected to rise as U.S. suffers through worst drought in half a century

  1. Andrea says:

    yep the prices will rise more and more…not just for the drought…they have to have enough to line the pockets….(smile)

  2. 2Tonsils says:

    this could be the best thing ever to happen to the US….no wheat or corn or soya added to food in order to make more money and people will have to eat less or eat more fruit and veg….dear God, they may even end up healthier!!!

  3. Tom E. says:

    But yet we continue to not let the market work, and, in effect, force more crop land into producing fuel. The Ethanol mandated use of “Ethanol” continues to rise, to the point with the declining use of gas we will soon be forced to use E15. Which, BTW, will violate the new car warranty for the majority of new cars sold in the us. Let alone destroy boats and outdoor lawn equipment.

    But it also has the nice effect of increasing the use of genetically modified corn, that is not suitable for human consumption.

    Yes, Brazil uses Ethanol, and yes, it USED to be a prime fuel source, but they let, in this case, the market work, and because sugar prices are up, and they currently have a plentiful supply of their own oil, Ethanol use is fairly low. If world sugar prices plummet, yeah, they will likely go back to using Ethanol.

    Remember this in November!

  4. The food prices will be going up as well as fuel and other commodities globally. Canada is also feeling the drought

  5. Another sign of the times that was predicted so long ago. Droughts affect everyone in the society that they hit, but I for one believe that we need to produce corn for food (not “fuel”) and need to stop paying farmers not to farm. The only reason that Uncle Sam keeps the subsidies in place is so the wealthy absentee “farmers” in NYC can keep getting that check and so that food prices stay artificially high due to a “lack” of supply.

  6. Emanni says:

    July 25, 2012
    Rows of corn stalks in a field south of Blair, Neb., this week.
    The drought-damaged field was cut down for silage.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/26/business/food-prices-to-rise-in-wake-of-severe-drought.html?src=un&feedurl=http%3A%2F%2Fjson8.nytimes.com%2Fpages%2Fnational%2Findex.jsonp

    Scorching heat and the worst drought in nearly a half-century are threatening to send food prices up, spooking consumers and leading to worries about global food costs.

    On Wednesday, the government said it expected the record-breaking weather to drive up the price for groceries next year, including milk, beef, chicken and pork. The drought is now affecting 88 percent of the corn crop, a staple of processed foods and animal feed as well as the nation’s leading farm export.

    The government’s forecast, based on a consumer price index for food, estimated that prices would rise 4 to 5 percent for beef next year with slightly lower increases for pork, eggs and dairy products.

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