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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 23, 2012, 08:01 PM

Recent drought leads to high crop prices

FARGO, N.D. (WDAY TV) - Crop prices have been on the rise for weeks, stemming from a drought that has taken a toll on much of the country.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

FARGO, N.D. (WDAY TV) - Crop prices have been on the rise for weeks, stemming from a drought that has taken a toll on much of the country.

Dr. Frayne Olson, Crops Economist: "We've seen some pretty - especially on corn - some substantial increases in prices over the last couple months."

Right now, corn is priced above seven dollars a bushel, soybeans are at fifteen and a half, and wheat at 9 and a half.

Olson: "We really won't know what the total impact is until we get an idea of how big is this crop going to be. And with the current weather forecasts, it looks as though the size of both the corn and the soybean crop are getting a little bit smaller every day."

Most of the corn grown in this area is used for cattle feed. That means if prices remain high, it could affect the price of meat and dairy products on store shelves.

Wayne Rheault from Meats by John & Wayne says expensive feed could mean fluctuating beef prices.

Rheault: "I would think ranchers, farmers are gonna have to maybe eliminate some of their herds, which, for the short term, may bring prices down."

But in the long term, a shortage could make those prices rise higher.

Rheault: "You don't know what's going to happen until it's actually dumped in your lap, pretty much. And then you deal with it at that time."

For now, they're just waiting to see if some long-awaited rainfall saves crops and washes away those cost concerns.

Price changes likely won't be seen for a few months.

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