Bad Weather Means Higher Food Prices
Freezes, hail, rain and other foul weather that hit the grain states this spring will mean smaller wheat and corn harvests and higher prices for consumers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday.
After examining field conditions June 1, officials lowered an estimate of the winter wheat harvest to 1.61 billion bushels, down 3 percent from last year’s actual harvest.
The harvest of winter wheat may be down as much as 9 percent in the Pacific Northwest because of decisions by farmers not to plant the crop during last fall’s drought.
Northwest growers will produce an estimated 214.3 million bushels of winter wheat, down from 236.8 bushels 1994. That includes 109.2 million bushels in Washington and 54.7 million bushels in Idaho.
Flooding and other poor growing conditions may lower the nation’s corn harvest to 7.9 billion bushels, down 2.2 billion bushels from last year’s record, the department said.