FOOD PRICES: Vilsack Says Price Increases Coming

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The possibility of the drought affecting food prices has been a hot topic for months now.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says expect food inflation of three to four percent this year, but everything could get worse if the Midwest doesn’t get rain and a lot of it.

Very little rain this year left fields dry and low producing. The Midwest was hit hard by the lack of rain and agricultural officials are trying to figure out which way to go, if the rains don’t come.

“We really have to take a comprehensive look at this. We just can’t focus on one aspect of the drought, that it does have a rippling effect. And we need to understand and appreciate every aspect of that rippling effect,” says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

No one understands that more than Mike Mackie, a John Deere dealer for more than 20 years. Right now he says business is good, but that will all change if the weather doesn’t.

“We definitely will see a drop in our business if we don’t receive some moisture. We are much in need of moisture in this part of the country. I think throughout most of the Midwest it’s that way,” says Mackie.

Mackie says being prepared to deal with more drought is good planning but there’s really nothing more anyone can do.

“I’ve been in the business for 23 years and seen a lot of ups and downs and this is the driest I’ve ever seen it…some people are predicting a two to three year drought pattern other people are saying this was a one-time event a lot of that depends on Mother Nature. We can do all the weather patterns and predicting we want, it comes down to getting the moisture,” says Mackie.

Health experts say you can expect to see higher prices on turkey, eggs, vegetable oils, and dairy products in the coming weeks.