Economist Chris Hurt says food prices tend to go up whenever production decreases in a major farm state like Indiana, which he says the drought has hit hardest. Hurt says hot, dry weather is likely to affect other breadbasket states as well.
Hurt says the U.S. Agriculture Department projects food prices will rise by as much as 3.5 percent overall, starting late this year and into 2013. Beef prices could rise as much as 10 percent. Experts say everything from meat and milk to cereal and cooking oil will likely be affected.
Hurt says the increase will hurt consumers because incomes aren’t rising.