Food costs up, hunger risks also up
With drought conditions continuing in the United States, expect food costs to continue rising, say officials from the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
“We will likely see impacts within two months for beef, pork, poultry and dairy (especially fluid milk),” reads a recent statement on the ERS website.
Expectations are that the drought may increase retail prices for many items, later this year and right on into 2013.
In the short term, drought conditions “…may lead to herd culling in response to higher feed costs, and short term increases in meat supply.” However, while this may decrease prices for some meat products it would not last very long. The lower costs would be temporary, and would rise after “…product supplies shrink.”
A 5-day forecast (August 8-12) from the Drought Monitor website is showing a shift in the continuing heat from the mid-section of the U.S. to the West. “Above-normal temperatures will accompany the high pressure in the West and the cool down to the east of the Rockies will be a welcomed respite for most of the Great Plains and Midwest.”
Aid organizations such as Charity Oxfam predict the surge in prices may drop millions of people around the world into conditions of hunger and malnourishment, according to Reuters. This is in addition to almost one billion who are already unable to feed themselves.