"Higher food prices" isn't the sort of headline most people want to read at the moment. Although some areas have noticed an increase in jobs, 8.2% of the population is still unemployed. Not surprisingly, the last thing these individuals want to hear about is the price of food going up. However, with a widespread drought wreaking havoc on crops all across the nation, officials are warning folks that a trip to the local supermarket may cost them more by the end of the year.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated on Wednesday that over two-thirds of corn and soybean crops have been affected by the current drought. Livestock producers are having a particularly hard time dealing with the situation, which could, in theory, result in consumers paying more at the check-out counter. As if your budget wasn't stretched thin enough already.
Vilsack explained the price of beef, poultry, and pork may drop a bit, though he anticipated that they will rise over time, as will the cost of processed food. In order to combat such a scenario, Vilsack is pushing Congress to renew a disaster relief program that expired in 2011. His overall goal, he explained, is to help producers and farmers weather these extreme conditions.
"We’re obviously going to need some help working with Congress to revive the disaster programs that were allowed to expire last year,” Vilsack explained.
If he can't get these programs back in working order, Vilsack hopes other steps will be taken as soon as possible. Pardon me while I step aside to perform my rain dance.