Drought Impact Heading to Grocery Stores

Higher corn and milk prices on the way

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    A crippling heatwave in the Midwest could make its way into San Diego grocery stores.

    That heat and record drought is taking a toll on corn and dairy production, that could lead to higher prices for milk and cheese.

    Corn also has a far reaching impact on consumers. According to one report, corn is used in three-quarters of supermarket products. Corn is used in oil, as a sweetener and even in biodegradable packaging.

    Drought Impact Heading To Grocery Stores

    [DGO] Drought Impact Heading To Grocery Stores
    The drought affecting the Midwest could also impact the prices of groceries. Consumer Bob talks to grocery store owner Dirk Stump about the increasing cost of produce.

    But how will higher prices impact shoppers already hit by a struggling economy?

    "I'll make alternative choices," said shopper Gerry Martinez.

    The senior citizen says if corn prices go too high she simply won't buy it. Solene Hadd says she'll still buy milk and cheese for her son Cole, even if prices double, but it won't be easy.

    "It just means paying more at the grocery store," said Hadd, "I have to work more hours to make up for it."

    But Dirk Stump from Stumps Family Market in Point Loma says he has seen prices go up and down and will deal with the change when it arrives in his loading dock.

    "There's nothing we can do about it," said Stump. While California is the largest dairy state, any increase in milk prices could impact shoppers across the country.

    When temperatures move past 90 degrees, cows produce 20-30 percent less milk. That could lead to more expensive cheese and ice cream. Beef and chicken prices could feel the pinch.

    Feed prices are going up and hot whether takes its toll on livestock. However, any price increase may take months to arrive at neighborhood supermarkets.

     

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