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Can the Nationwide Drought Wind Up Costing You Money? — Dollars and Sense

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Scott Olson, Getty Images

The record-breaking heat that’s recently affected much of the country has resulted in soaring utility bills — and that may not be the only way it hits your wallet.

American consumers could also soon see higher prices for meat, dairy products and all sorts of other goods because of the drought those high temperatures have left behind.

Most of the nation’s corn in grown in states like Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky — and much of that region is experiencing its worst drought since 1988, so yields are down and prices are up. And since farmers rely on corn to feed their livestock, those rising corn prices have a ripple effect.

Prices per bushel have now reached about $7.50, a 30 percent rise since just last month. That means an additional $75 to $80 in additional costs per head of cattle, so you can expect to pay six percent more for some products.

Even if you’re a vegetarian, you’ll feel the pinch. Soybeans and wheat have also been affected by the drought, and they’re found in things like cereals, vitamins and cooking oil.

The price increases won’t happen right away, but analysts say that as fall approaches, you should probably start setting aside a bit more money in your grocery budget.

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