Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ongoing US drought to drive up food prices


Source: Press TV (US Desk)
http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/252884.html

Most of the U.S. Midwest remains in the grips of the worst drought in half a century as the outlook for world food supplies and prices worsened.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Agriculture Department added another 76 counties to its list of areas designated for disaster aid, bringing the total to 1,369 counties in 31 states across the country. Two-thirds of the United States is now in mild or extreme drought, the agency said.

Forecasters said that after weeks of hot, dry weather the northern Corn Belt from eastern Nebraska through northern Illinois was likely to see a second day of scattered rain. But in the southern Midwest, including Missouri and most of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, more hot, dry weather was likely.

"Most of these areas need an excess of 10 inches of rain to break the drought," said Jim Keeney, a National Weather Service meteorologist, referring to Kansas through Ohio. "This front is not expected to bring much more than a 1/2 to 1 inch in any particular area. It's not a drought buster by any means."

The central and southern Midwest saw more temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, with St Louis at 101 F.

"There's no change in the drought pattern, just thunderstorms shifting around," said Andy Karst, a meteorologist for World Weather Inc. "There are no soaking rains seen through August 8." IBNLive.com

HIGHLIGHTS

The U.S. Agriculture Department forecast that food prices would now out-pace other consumer costs through 2013 as drought destroys crops and erodes supplies. Reuters

On Wednesday, the government said it expected the record-breaking weather to drive up the price for groceries next year, including milk, beef and chicken. The drought is now affecting 88 percent of the corn crop, a staple of processed foods and animal feed as well as the nation’s leading farm export. NY Times

The drought now covers around 60 percent of the continental United States, the largest area since the epic droughts of the 1930s and 1950s. Huffington Post

The drought also threatens a recurrence of the 2008 global food crisis, when soaring prices set off riots and unrest to parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, food experts warn. CattleNetwork


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