Drought To Increase Grocery Store Prices
OKLAHOMA CITY - As the temperatures are heating up outside, the food forecast is also looking bleak. The USDA says get ready for a price hike at grocery stores because of this summer's drought that has hit more than half of the United States.
A drought can affect the prices of just about everything at a grocery store. The USDA says beef will be hit the hardest, increasing as much as 5 percent. The lack of rain is tearing up crops and increasing the cost of feed. That, in turn, is making meat, dairy and poultry more expensive
"We'll have to decrease our grocery list," consumer Sowkanya Mittapalli said.
The higher prices may be felt in the next several months. Economists say the full effect will hit our wallets by 2013.
"Last summer for us was horrible," Braum's CEO Drew Braum said. "We lost 80 percent of everything we grew."
Braum's is a local company supported by local farms. And, although this year is not as painful for Oklahoma as last year, prices here will still go up.
"I think Oklahoma will get impacted like the rest of the country, I really do," Braum said. "Everything follows corn as far as feeding goes. Wheat will go up, soy beans will go up, and that's happening right now."
Braum says flour has already gone up 20 percent in the last week. That's a spike that has shoppers at this Crest thinking of ways to save money.
"I might not come [to the store] as often," Crest shopper Cheryl Loboda said. "I might have to stretch it out a little bit more."
On some local products, prices are dropping before the projected spike. Braum's says it will lower the cost of milk at 100 stores on Monday.
The USDA says you may notice poultry prices going up first because chickens are smaller, grow faster and get to market faster.