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Milk Prices May Rise as Drought Spreads

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The devastating heat and drought that now covers more than half the continental U.S. is taking its toll on farmers and their crops.  The price of soybeans and corn have hit a new high and wheat prices are at their highest levels in more than four years.

But how will this affect consumers?

Supermarket prices for some foods may rise, but it’s not yet clear how big the increase will be.  Some of the first products that will likely be hit with higher costs are milk and cheese, since cows are producing less milk.

But for now, “milk prices are actually the lowest they’ve been in 18 months because of surpluses built up over an ultra-mild winter and spring," reports USA Today.

Meat prices will likely follow, rising later this year.  And while grain price increases will have some impact on consumers, they make up a relatively small share of processed food costs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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