Extreme Weather Driving Food Prices Up

<p>Harsh weather conditions across the United States will drive up food prices this year, with the cost of beef, pork, vegetables and nuts predicted to jump the highest, according to a new agricultural analysis from Kansas State University.</p>

MANHATTAN, Kan.—Harsh weather conditions across the United States will drive up food prices this year, with the cost of beef, pork, vegetables and nuts predicted to jump the highest, according to a new agricultural analysis from Kansas State University.

“Most people recognize weather has a big hand in food production," Tonsor said. “What they might not recognize is the actual location of food production around the country and, therefore, how weather across the country impacts the food prices they see," said Glynn Tonsor, associate professor of agricultural economics at Kansas State University.

California produces more than 90% of select vegetables and nut products; however, the state is facing extreme drought conditions. That means fewer of these products are available. He said the limited supply will increase the price of the products anywhere from 5% to 20%.

The drought in Oklahoma, coupled with the already historically low amount of cattle in the United States, will hike up the price for beef.

“It’s not just a weather story," Tonsor said. “The other thing that’s getting talked a lot about that will show up at the meat counter is animal health issues, particularly in the pork industry.

These animal health issues do not affect human health, but they do decrease the amount of pork available. That could affect the prices at the grocery store by summer, he said.

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