Consumers may soon start to feel the effect of this year’s drought mainly in the cost of food.All summer long, ABC 17 News has been reporting on how the drought has affected farmers, causing many of them to have to sell of their livestock as feed and hay prices rose.Agriculture experts say consumers could start to notice the price hike in the next few months. Farmers have already been struggling and it’s expected to have a trickle down effect. Experts believe consumers will end up with less beef, chicken and turkey next year.When farmers downsized this summer, they say they knew it would eventually affect the rural economy as a whole.”As a livestock farmer, I know that we saw significant expense increases in raising livestock,” said Rhonda Perry.Now meat prices are expected to increase by ten percent and could reach record highs. This could mean a big impact for most people in the U.S. The average meat-eater consumes 214 pounds of meat every year, but people are already cutting back. In 2012, people cut back by three pounds on average, making it the lowest per capita it’s been since 1990.However, meat-eaters may not be the only ones to notice price hikes at grocery stores. Experts say other crops like corn and soybeans could end up costing consumers more.It’s unclear how long the price hikes will last. As the drought continues into the fall and winter, some farmers say it has already impacted their preparations for next year.
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