Officials: Food prices to increase due to drought

Thursday, July 19, 2012
By Paul Martin

JULY 18, 2012

As temperatures remain high and rain clouds remain scarce, state experts suggest food prices are likely to skyrocket this fall.

The last statewide rain occurred on May 31, and as a result, the state’s farms and bodies of water are drying up. The Iowa River level was 9.33 feet on Tuesday, compared with last year’s depth of 12.07 feet, according to data collected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Dave Miller, the director of research and commodity services at the Iowa Farm Bureau, said the drought is hurting corn crops.

The result?
Miller said corn prices have increased almost 50 percent over the last six weeks.

“Each day the drought goes on, it’s probably taking two bushels off expected yield,” he said.

Physiologically, corn is at a critical stage of development right now, but Miller said he expects soybeans to show more signs of stress in the next two or three weeks.

“We depend on rain … there’s not much we can do,” he said.

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