Drought impact expected to hit groceries in January

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
By Paul Martin

George C. Ford
6 November 2012

Look for higher prices at the grocery store as soon as January as the impact of this year’s record drought that slashed corn and soybean yields is felt by consumers.

Prices for corn and soybeans are higher than a year ago, with corn prices 23 percent higher and soybean prices 20 percent higher. The increase in corn prices will affect farmers’ feed prices for their livestock, and that will trickle down to consumers in the form of higher meat prices at the supermarket.

“These higher grain prices continue to put pressure on grain users, from ethanol plants to livestock farmers,” said Dave Miller, director of research and commodity services for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation in West Des Moines. “Whether you’re feeding your family or your livestock next year, you’ll feel a pinch in your pocketbook.

“In the past few weeks, ethanol production is running 12 percent below last year’s levels. Cattle, hog and poultry farmers are trimming back production expectations for the coming year.”

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