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Nationwide Drought Could Impact Your Grocery Bill

By: CNN
By: CNN

The Midwest is experiencing its worst drought in decades, and it's taking a severe toll on corn.

That could eventually mean bigger grocery bills, and we're not just talking about corn on the cob.

The biggest impact might be felt in the cost of beef, milk, pork, and poultry. That's because corn is used as feed for livestock.

Some experts say meat prices could jump as much as 10 percent.

That means the average cost of beef, which rang up at $4.35 a pound in 2011, could jump more than 40 cents this year.

But don't expect prices at your local supermarket to climb overnight.

The full extent of the price hike won't be known until the crops are harvested later this year. That means you might not feel the pinch in your wallet until the end of 2012 or the beginning of next year.

But the good news is that experts say the increase may be brief.

Also, the Department of Agriculture says not all food prices will rise. Cereal prices should remain constant because they're impacted more by marketing and packaging costs.

Regardless, there is a chance the drought could have wide-reaching ramifications.


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