Drought May Mean Higher Grocery Bills this Fall

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Dry conditions are negatively impacting farmers, and if the drought continues much longer, it will have a chain reaction that reaches all of us.

Because crop yields will be down, you can almost guarantee prices will be up.

42 Wisconsin counties are in a state of emergency because of the drought, and farmers in particular are feeling the heat.

"With the drought what these farmers could experience is a decrease in the yield because if you don't have water you're not going to have a yield and they won't be able to make their quota," said Heather Schlesser, Marathon County agriculture agent.

With limited yields, prices will go up for crops and livestock feed. That means food prices for consumers will also increase.

The owner of Townline Market says he's already paying more for beef.

"But the nice thing is for us anyway is that people don't seem to care," David Jagler said. "They're still buying because they still love their steak, their meat and they're gonna buy it regardless of price."

Though he doesn't expect his customers to complain, he does expect them to pay more for those prized cuts of beef in a few months.

"When fall comes and the effect of the drought hits, people are gonna see I would say a 10, 20 percent raise again," he said.

However everything could change if mother nature agrees to lend a hand.

"If the drought continues you're gonna see a severe loss in crop more so than what we're seeing," Schlesser said. "But if we get some rain in the next couple weeks things could rebound and you won't see the loss."

But the drought could have another impact on your wallet. Because ethanol is made from corn, we may see higher prices at the pump this fall too.

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