About 70 percent of Colorado’s corn crop is irrigated from surface water rights, subject to drought, or wells that further deplete the ever-shrinking aquifer that supports midwestern agriculture. Pervasive drought in Colorado and much of the US means that food prices are rising 2 to over 3 percent this year as crops are devastated, reports Steve Raabe at the Denver Post. In the short term, beef prices may even fall as desperate ranchers sell off herds they can’t feed. But the real impact of drought will be felt next year, when grocery prices are expected to rise — especially for meat and dairy products that rely on high-priced corn for their production. Meanwhile, the global demand for grains and meat is rising, making it a seller’s market for commodities. The result is that consumers here and overseas will pony up more for food. “It’s a simple economic story. You have very strong demand, and now you have a pretty substantial supply disruption from the drought,” said Stephen Koontz, an agricultural economist at Colorado State University. “For the consumer, it means nothing but higher prices,” Koontz said.
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Drought in Colorado and nationally will lead to higher food prices. Coming soon to a grocery store near you: higher prices. Pervasive drought in Colorado and much of the rest of the nation means more than just brown lawns and dried-up gardens. Crops are stunted, and prices are rising. Denver Post Steve Raabe