Grocery prices rise as crops dry up

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE COUNTY (WEAU)- Many of you may have noticed the increase in cereal prices this last week.

This warm weather we’ve been having is already affecting the prices in our grocery stores. Many corn crops are on the verge of shriveling up in this heat.

What’s happening out in the fields is affecting the prices in the store, and there’s little moms can do.

“I shop around. I don’t just shop at one store anymore. I used to find one favorite store and shop there, but now I really watch prices and when I see a sale I go for it,” says La Crosse mom Janet Gomez.

Price increases could have some families like Janet Gomez’s giving up cereal for time being.

“I’ll use coupons but ill look for alternatives to cereals for the kids. We may go back to oatmeal,” said Gomez.

Steve Huntzicker from UW-Extension says this heat has caused corn prices to go up as many U.S. crops are on the verge of dying. If they don’t get rain soon there’s no telling how high prices will go.

“It will depend on production and how our yields turn out. In the end a lot will deal with pollination,” said Huntzicker.

Cereal prices are up right now and it’s expected they will keep on fluctuating as long as the weather stays warm.

Farmer Kevin Semke from Coon Valley says his crops are doing fine, but it’s the ones south that are suffering.

“Illinois, Indiana, and southern Wisconsin things are getting really dry and if they don’t get moisture soon they’ll be in trouble with their crops,” said Semke.

Reserves are starting to be used up which eventually trickles down to your wallet says Semke.

“A lot of old crop has been sold and is being used up. The reserves are getting pulled down so it could eventually drive it up,” said Semke.


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  • by Anonymous on Jul 3, 2012 at 04:49 AM
    If it gets too high priced, then just don't buy any food.
  • by Mark Location: Ladysmith on Jul 2, 2012 at 03:40 PM
    Kevin has it pretty much figured out... and Anonymous (ethanol mandate) obviously doesn't. The corn used for ethanol is #2 (feed grade) yellow corn, NOT food grade yellow corn...or sweet corn, pop corn, or white corn. AND a large percentage (can't remember for sure right now... something like 70%) of the corn is still used for feed (as the by-product 'distiller's grain') after making ethanol.
  • by Kevin Location: Chippewa Falls on Jun 30, 2012 at 11:44 PM
    This sounds like the futures markets traders seeing big bucks while the consumer suffers, just like the oil and gasoline futures markets. The oil futures markets traders set prices regardless of supply or demand. Unfortunately, the futures traders will reap the income from higher prices while the farmers see their money makers (crops) drying and dying in the fields. So even if there is ample supply of crops available, the futures traders will use the current heat situation to drive up costs; regardless of supply or demand. Hopefully rains come to salvage the crops and keep money in the hands of the farmers and consumers; and also keep supply and demand in charge of prices instead of futures traders artificially manipulating prices more than they do now.
  • by john on Jun 30, 2012 at 09:41 AM
    How does a crop that is not doing well in the fields have an effect on whats in the store now? Sounds like the oil companies influence is with us all.
  • by Sick of This on Jun 30, 2012 at 05:57 AM
    It may be dry, but the crops are able to yet recover. Now the Grocery Stores turned into Oil Companies. Any excuse to raise the price. Next it will be a Semi overturned in Texas and it was full of Cereal and all EC's local stores will have an excuse to jacking up the prices even more. They are just like the Gas Stations. Soon it will be cheaper to drive to another town and get your groceries.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 30, 2012 at 05:12 AM
    If our all knowing politicians would lift the ethanol mandate we could put corn back on our table instead of in our gas tanks.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 29, 2012 at 05:40 PM
    bring it on $10 corn and $20 beans! And $20 milk.
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