KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The USDA has released just how much more the drought will cost you at the grocery store.
Products like beef, chicken, pork, milk and dairy will all cost up to five percent more in 2013. The increase will largely be driven by the cost of feed like corn.
Maurie Bourquin, a cattle farmer who lives south of Spring Hill, Kan., said he now pays twice what he usually does to feed his 1,100 cattle.
"It costs about $2,000 to $2,500 a day," now, he said.
Usually his cattle can graze his pastures until Thanksgiving, but the sun has fried those pastures so he has to supplement their diets with feed. Not only is buying feed an extra cost, but the cost of that feed has skyrocketed because the crops it's made of have also struggled in this drought.
Bourquin said farmers have to gamble with the decision daily to cut their losses by either selling their cows now at a lower price or continuing to feed them at a higher cost and hope things turn around.
"It'll be less money, bottom line," said Bourquin. "It will mean higher beef prices but that doesn't mean the producer will be making any more."
Farmers will also be losing big on cows purchased before the drought if they sell them now, possibly losing hundreds of dollars per cow which could easily spell thousands of dollars in loss.
See the USDA Consumer Price Indexes and expected increases here: http://1.usa.gov/NKGthT
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