Drought Could Lead to Higher Food Prices
KREX News Room
DELTA COUNTY, Colo.- The drought continues, but Colorado isn't the only state feeling the heat. Several states are losing crops at a fast rate. By the end of summer it is likely consumers all over the country will notice higher prices at the grocery store.
Jack Graff, a Delta County farmer, said, "Years ago you could have a problem, such as a drought, and you could survive it. Today, it doesn't take much and it ends people's ability to make a living."
Because of irrigation water, Colorado crops are still green, but farmers in other states aren’t as lucky.
Ron Godin, an agronomy agent with the CSU Extension in Delta County, said, "It's gone up about a bushel because of the really dire drought in the Midwest, where we know thousands and thousands of acres of corn just won't produce."
"Nature controls what we do, and climate is a big factor in our lives," said Graff.
Farmers need those crops to feed their livestock and to provide for people.
Godin said, "They'll probably get some from Nebraska and Kansas, and then our corn will probably go to Kansas and Nebraska. But all in all, it raises the prices across the board."
Soon, consumers will be paying for the drought, too. "Now there's less feed for humans for cows, so it causes higher prices," said Graff.
Despite the drought, corn plants at one farm are higher than they've ever been. If there's anything positive about the drought, it's that it makes people more careful with their water usage.
Godin said, "Data from 2002, our last drought, showed that our yields were higher than normal because we had less water and farmers were managing it more closely."
The future forecast doesn’t show much sign of relief. What’s important locally is that farmers continue to ration their water to keep crops green throughout the summer.