Justin Bullock, FISM News
It is now evident that the historic heat wave sweeping through the midwestern and western states is representative of a larger drought. The drought has already contributed to food shortages across the country and every indication points to such shortages continuing for the foreseeable future and possibly become worse.
Approximately 44% of the US is undergoing some classified stage of drought with 9.8% of the US experiencing the worst stage of drought called distinct drought. On top of that, an additional 13% of the US is experiencing historically high temperature averages resulting in drier than normal climates. With such historic climate changes, many farms throughout the West and Midwest, and in California especially, are using up all of their water reserves and then being forced to go fallow.
Meteorologists have indicated that the drought is in large part due to the lack of significant or consistent rain as well as a substantial decline of snowmelt in the northern colder climates. Farmers and other agricultural experts indicate that the effects of the current drought could last for decades without further relief. In fact, farmers are still feeling the impacts of the historic drought of 2014-2015 and expect to continue to do so for years to come. Thankfully the current drought has not reached the same levels as the 2014-2015 drought but many see it as moving in that direction.
American consumers should expect for food prices to continue to shoot up. Meat prices have already skyrocketed following a ransomware attack on the largest US meat distributor earlier this year. With the drought, prices will begin to rise for a much larger variety of foods. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy will all see higher than normal shortages due to the drought and the result will be significantly increased food prices at grocery stores.