Drought may impact food prices

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The impact of the on-going drought could ultimately hit you in the pocket book. (KFSN)

The impact of the on-going drought could ultimately hit you in the pocket book. A recent study projected some food prices to soar but local experts did not foresee a large spike.

Cutbacks in planted acreage in the valley this year due to the drought could result in higher food prices. An Arizona State agri-business study projected lettuce prices to spike 34% this year.

Broccoli prices would rise 22%. Grapes would see a 21% price hike while tomatoes would go up 19%. But Fresno County Farm Bureau executive director Ryan Jacobsen didn't believe you'll get hit as hard in the checkout line as the projections may indicate.

Jacobsen said, "I still think it's early enough to not know exactly what's going to take place. I don't think it something that consumers are going to see a massive increase on."

California Fresh Fruit Association president Barry Bedwell said you see more stable prices in the permanent crops - tree fruit, nuts and grapevines. However, it is possible crops like lettuce and tomatoes could see a price hike.

Bedwell explained, "If they're annual row crops where people have to make decisions due to the lack of water and not plant them that could result in a shorter supply."

Bedwell said some fruit prices have gone up in recent years but didn't believe that was due to the drought.

Bedwell said, "From our perspective as we've seen most price increases look to be due to demand rather than any reduction in supply."

Any crop shortages in California would likely be filled by foreign growers.

Jacobsen said, "I think when you look at your overall grocery basket I don't know how significant it's going to be. We're going to see some impact no doubt."

Jacobsen added farmers from other states have been calling him to see which crops they should plant to help fill a void.

Related Topics:
foodfoodag watchdroughteconomycalifornia waterwater
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