Alert shoppers are accustomed to watching food prices go up and down. But a string of forces—from droughts to diseases—is raising the cost of a trip to the grocery store at a rapid clip.
And it looks like it will be a while before the price pressure eases.
A clerk rings up a customer at Cal-Mart Grocery on March 27, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
Some of that pressure is coming from California—the source of roughly half the nation’s fruits and vegetables—where a long-running drought is forcing farmers and ranchers to cut production. After the driest year on record, large sections of farmland are expected to lay fallow this year as the Golden State copes with an ongoing water crisis
Read More Your food, your wallet and the California drought
That could have “large and lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices,” according to a recent USDA report, which said the full impact has yet to be felt.