SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The drought that's straining the region may put a dent in your grocery budget next year.
The Department of Agriculture predicts food prices will spike 3-4 percent in 2013. That's higher than normal grocery price inflation.
Fields are dry and crops are dying due to the shortage of rain in the region and across the United States.
The USDA says food prices should stay stable for the rest of the year, but farmers are feeling the heat now.
J.D. Fielden and his family have been farming for a century. He says he hasn't seen these rough drought conditions since the 80s and the proof is in the product.
"The 100-degree heat and the wind blowing like a torch, it doesn't take long to dry the tassel. If it doesn't reach the corn, the silk will be dry and not pollinate and all you're growing is a cob."
And he says if the dry conditions continue, his corn crop will continue to suffer.
"It will have an empty row just like that. This corn here should be at least four times bigger than what it is. This should be twice as big."
Fielden says during a good growing year, corn prices may drop as low as $2 a bushel, but this year prices are up to $8. It's a good price for a product, but a product with little growth.
"That's still good price per acre, but we aren't getting enough and we need it to feed our cattle."
Because of the shortage of crops, farmers are selling their cattle earlier, because there isn't enough feed for the cattle for the winter.
"When corn goes up, cattle go down. It's kind of like a teeter-totter."
And the price for cattle is another concern for farmers and their wallets.
"Some steers in April was bringing in 1.90 weighing 550 lbs. It would be lucky now to bring in 1.35 maybe, so it's almost a 60 cent drop and add that in to what it weighs, that's a lot of money."
Fielden says people may not see a difference in their grocery budget now, but if the record breaking drought continues they'll soon feel the heat.
"It takes a long time to get to the end of the line, which is the consumer."
The USDA says milk, eggs, poultry and pork prices will all be affected by the drought, but consumers won't see higher prices until next year. Beef prices will have the biggest jump in price at 4-5 percent for 2013.
The USDA says fruits and vegetables aren't expected
to be affected because those crops are irrigated.
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