A long-standing lunchtime staple of most American households, peanut butter, will be rising in price up to 30% or more in supermarkets nationwide starting in November, reports Paul Ziobro at the Wall Street Journal. Another hot dry summer in the US south this year has shriveled the peanut crop by as much as 17%, reports Karen Datko at MSN Money, causing the resulting price boost. Specifically, there was too little rain in Texas, which is suffering a record drought, and excessive heat in Georgia, where half the US peanut crop is grown. Plants either shriveled, got too hot to develop any edible peanuts, or developed a toxin that made peanut processing difficult. A second factor driving peanut scarcity is competition with other crops, causing over 100,000 fewer acres to be devoted to peanuts this year. All major peanut butter brands will be affected, as will most households that regularly use peanut butter. The long term outlook is not good for peanuts. Longer, hotter, and drier summers are one of the climate changes predicted to occur as global warming continues.
see also: Peanut-butter makers face crunch.