USDA: Little additional impact from drought on food pricesby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — The latest U.S. Agriculture Department food price forecast shows little additional impact from the drought even though conditions are more severe in the nation's bread basket.
The drought has pushed grain prices to record levels and that's projected to raise the cost of food.
In July, government forecasters predicted food prices next year will increase 3 percent to 4 percent, and that's still the estimate in the August outlook. That's half a percentage point above the expected increase for this year.
The only major change in the index this month calls for lower fish and seafood prices for the remainder of this year; down 1 percent from last month's outlook.
Government researchers say the main reason is a faster than expected recovery of the Japanese fishing industry after last year's earthquake.