Expect food prices to increase from drought

SPRING HILL, Kan. - Everyone in the agriculture business is feeling the heat from the drought - and soon, you may be paying for it.

At the Farmers Union feed store in Spring Hill, Kan., you can find feed for just about anything. But even with a huge selection, their sales are slumping.

The ingredients that go into feed production are drying up, which means higher prices.

Normally, corn and beans that are grown go into storage then sold on the market. That's not happening this year.

"I spoke with a farmer today, and he's actually baling his beans right now because they're not going to make anything," explained Chris Harrison, crop production manager at the Farmers Union. "He's got cattle, and he's trying to make feed for his cows."

He also said he's taken a big hit on fertilizer sales because nothing is growing and farmers are reluctant to put money back into fields that aren't producing.

Even if it rains soon, the drought's affects will be felt for a long time.

"The drought is going to affect the consumer, it's going to affect the farmers, it's going to affect the cattle farmer all the way down to the hobby farmer for the next three to five years," Harrison said.

According to estimates from the U.S. government, beef product prices could rise anywhere from four to five percent because of the drought.

The prices of chicken, turkey and dairy products are expected to increase 3.5 to 4.5 percent later this year.

Bottom line: Higher prices for food and anything else that comes from the farm.

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