Food Prices to Rise at Grocery Stores

The Federal Government projects food prices will go up by as much as 3.5 percent this year.

Experts say the drought nationwide is causing not just the cost of water, but everything from beef to vegetables to go up.

Melissa Moore noticed the price spike while shopping for a spring break BBQ.

Meat prices have definitely gone up quite a bit, even just like general stuff. I have noticed, I think the other day I bought some hamburger meat and it went up, I was a little surprised,” she said.

Ground beef has gone up 30 to 40 cents a pound just over the last month and your prime cuts are following suit right behind those,” said meat manager at Market Street, Michael Cullar.

It's not just in the meat section that shoppers are getting a little sticker shock, but also dairy products, and bread, cereal and other grain products.

The U.S Department of Agriculture estimates food prices to rise between 2.5 and 3.5 percent. And shoppers may see some cuts of meat soar even higher.

In the last several years ranchers have cut cattle herds because of the poor grazing and higher cost of feed.

Ninety-five percent of California, the biggest producer of fruits and vegetables, is in extended drought, adding to the rising prices. 

And for Melissa, that means making fewer trips to the store to avoid spending more.

I think before, it was about two to three times and now, in all honesty, I think this is the first time I have been here all month,” she said.

There could be hope for grocery buyers in a few months.

Government officials say U.S. farmers are expected to plant larger crops of corn and soybeans this year.

And that would keep the price of things like meats, cereal and baked goods down.

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