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Drought May Lead to Grocery Woes

11:19 AM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
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Corn crops in Illinois and other parts of the Midwest are withering away in the heat and drought,  and that has prices rising as much as 30 percent on commodities markets. 

Even before the drought the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted grocery prices would rise 3.4 to 4.5 percent this year.  That means about $30 or $40 dollars a month for the average family of four who spends $800 to $850 per month on food.

Factor in the rising corn prices and experts say consumers may see additional increases in beef, chicken and dairy products.  Most cow and chicken feed come from corn.  Ethanol blend gasoline could also go up.

What about products like sodas and snacks that are made with corn syrup? Some experts predict we could see price increases down the road but others say most of what we're paying for is packaging and marketing anyway, so sodas, cereal and snacks will not rise very much.

As far as corn on the cobb, the USDA says sweet corn is only about one percent of the US corn product, so any price increase should be negliglble.

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