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Consumers can expect to pay more for beef, poultry and milk, as the worst drought in 50 years spreads across the Midwest, destroying crops and sending corn and soybean prices spiking.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday that meat prices would rise significantly, with the consumer price index for beef and veal expected to gain between 3.5% and 4.5% this year.
Scorching heat has caused crops to wilt, sending feed prices higher and prompting many ranchers to reduce their herds.
"Feed prices are definitely going up," said USDA economist Richard Volpe. "When we see feed costs increase for ranchers, we see them cull their herds."
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