August 16, 2012 | 1 comment(s)
It’s been a dry year so far in much of the country. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 45.57% of the United States is in severe to exceptional drought. Important food-producing states like Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Nebraska seem to be getting the worst of it. This is certainly affecting U.S. farmers, but how might it impact the rest of us? The USDA projects that corn prices could reach $8.90 per bushel, much higher than their prediction of $6.40 in July and $4.80. About 40% of corn grown in the U.S. goes into ethanol production, 40% into animal feed, and about 20% into processed foods. If corn prices spike, what might this mean for the American consumer in the months to come?
It’s impossible to predict exactly how much food will cost a year from now, but with food prices increasing an average of about 3.1% a year over the past decade it seems they will continue to go up. So, how can we limit the impact of rising food prices on our food budgets? You know that long-term food storage will help you prepare for unforeseen emergencies, but you may not have considered that buying it sooner than later could save you money in the long run.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is an online tool that combines multiple drought indices and impact reports to assess drought conditions as accurately as possible. For more information, visit droughtmonitor.unl.edu.
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