Record Midwestern Drought Spikes Higher Food Prices

CLEVELAND — This year’s corn harvest is fading fast as the drought in the Midwest continues.

Vendors at the West Side Market say this year’s drought and poor harvest could really hurt their business and they may have to raise prices.

“The corn prices may go up because we ain’t got no water, it’s hard to get the stuff in if it ain’t growing,” says Mike Shull, a vendor selling produce, “yea it kind of worries us because people won’t buy if it’s too high they want it cheaper it kind slows our business down quite a bit.”

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the continuing drought and hot temperatures in the Midwest have cut this year’s corn crop down by 12 percent.

Most dairy farmers use corn based food to feed their milk cows, and with the price of corn going up they may have to charge more for their dairy products.

Anne Marie Gettfort has been running her dairy stand for more than 16 years and says she’s already getting charged more for products since the drought started.

“One farmer I already deal with for my free range eggs has already notified me that feed prices are going up so that will be effecting over the counter prices eventually,” said Gettfort.

Jack Sabolik has been a butcher for more than 39 years and says prices are going up slightly because of the drought and the cost of feed, so customers seem to be cutting back.

“A lot of people are buying as many steaks as they would in the summer time, buying more hamburger and stuff like that to make it go by further with the families and stuff.”

Fox 8’s Scott Sabol says we deal with drought conditions every year but we haven’t seen it this bad in 24 years.

“We had it in 1988, we had it in the mid 50’s, we had it in the mid 30’s and 50’s–but the way it’s going now the drought conditions are expanding.”

Since we are only half way through the summer and the weather is only going to get hotter, the drought is expected to get a little worse before it gets better.