July 26th, 2012
10:45 AM ET
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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."

Read - Food prices on the rise as drought worsens

Previously:

Farmer in the drought – if you plant it, it might not come
Farmer: 'If you eat, this drought will affect you'
Praying for rain in the Arkansas drought
From the field – tweets from #drought12
How the drought could hit your wallet

Drought causing problems near you? Show us the effects, and how you’re coping, using iReport.

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Disaster • Drought • Environment • Farms • Heat


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