Record drought causes food prices to rise in central Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Record drought causes food prices to rise in central Wisconsin


Hot, dry weather is destroying crops across the country, and that's going to hit consumers where it hurts.

"Cereal prices are going to go up from what I've been hearing," said Aaron Hoffman, Assistant Store Manager at Drew's Piggly Wiggly.  "Other products will be going up that use wheat, corn because of course of the drought. Nothing is growing decent."

Hoffman says he's already been forced to raise prices, and if the drought continues, things will get worse.          

"Probably late fall, early winter I'd say you will see the prices start climbing."

That means you'll be paying more at the check out line. But grocery stores aren't the only one's feeling the heat.

Doug smith owns three KFC restaurants. Smith says feed prices are on the rise, meaning he will have to pay more for his chicken.

"we do as a corporation play the futures market so it's a delayed reaction," said Smith. "It takes the spikes out of it, but it will come and then it puts us in a predicament."

Unlike Hoffman, Smith says he can't raise his prices. So he may be forced to cut employee hours to make up the difference.

"It's a snowball effect to the negative," said Smith. "It's not just the food costs; it's the labor side too."

A lot is riding on Mother Nature, and these next few weeks will be critical for summer crops.

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