Drought conditions could drive up food prices here in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- We are pretty used to the dry heat here in the Las Vegas Valley. But the lack of rain in other parts of the country is proving to be disastrous.
More than half of the United States is in some stage of drought right now. The conditions have prompted disaster declarations in 26 states.
Farmers are worried about how much of their harvest will be damaged and how big of a hit their livelihoods may take this year. And, it could all trickle down to the average consumer.
A U.S.D.A. expert says that a smaller corn harvest could drive up the cost of animal feed made from corn. That would lead to higher meat and dairy prices for consumers.
Corn meal, corn syrup and ethanol prices could also rise.
In Arkansas, the co-owner of a locally-grown produce store hopes to maintain his prices.
"If we get more rain, it'll stay the same. But, if it keeps on drying it out, it might get a little more expensive, " said Edward Worley, co-owners of Lehi Produce.
Experts say that the effects of the drought won't be fully felt until next year.
A customer from Texas says fresh vegetables are a priority for her so if prices do rise, she will make adjustments to her budget.
"It's something that you have to have in life. So, you just substitute other things in life," says Cynthia Wilson.
In some states the drought has gotten so bad, local law enforcement is stepping up their game to prevent accidental fires.
To enforce the burn ban in Indiana, police will fine anyone caught tossing a lit cigarette out the window $10,000.