Historic Drought causes higher prices
Historic drought: Broiling heat baked much of the U.S. heartland this week, as the nation’s worst drought in more than 50 years devastated corn, soy, and other vital crops. More than 1,000 counties in 26 states have been declared natural disaster areas and 38 percent of the nation’s corn crop is in danger of withering in the field, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week. Corn prices have jumped 50 percent in just two months, raising the specter of higher consumer prices for beef, pork, and poultry in the coming months.
With pastureland parched and feed prices on the rise, many ranchers have begun liquidating their herds early, which could mean higher prices for meat through next year. “I have never seen this type of weather before,” said Kansas cattleman Brian Baalman. “I just think we are seeing history in the making.”