Heat, Drought Mean Rising Prices at the Grocery Store
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The ongoing drought conditions across the region is having a big impact on farmers, which means that it could soon have a big impact on prices at your local grocery store.
On Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency due to the drought and prolonged heat – the worst in some areas since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930′s. Nixon says that the heat and lack of rain – Kansas City alone is nearly 9 1/2 inches below normal rainfall this year – is causing significant losses in crops and livestock.
The greatest impact so far have been on the state’s egg and poultry farmers, as well as corn and soybean crops. Missouri farmers say that their fields are dried up and their animals are overheating – and hot chickens produce fewer eggs.
According to one family farm operator in the Ozarks, before the drought their chickens were producing 30-40 dozen egss a week – now it’s down to about seven to nine dozen a week.
The low supply means that prices are starting to rise in grocery stores. Supermarket managers say that the price of eggs and poultry should start going up in the next month.
“It’s not normal to have this much drought, no rain, so it’s going to cause things to go up,” said Hy-Vee meat manager Steve Banasik. “It’s just going to be one of those things we got to deal with.”