California’s dry climate and long growing season make it the ideal environment to produce much of the nation’s fruits, vegetables and nuts. So experts are predicting this year’s drought will cause food prices to rise by 2.5 percent, which is only a moderate increase from last year.
Chris Hurt, Purdue University professor of agricultural economics, says the drought isn’t drastically increasing food prices because those particular foods account for 10 percent of total food expenditures.
“We’re not going to see rapid food inflation,” Hurt says. “We’ll see it noticeably in some individual items but I don’t think broadly across our food cost in total.”
Hurt says California produces nearly 100 percent of the country’s nuts, 96 percent of broccoli, 89 percent of cauliflower and 85 percent of leaf lettuce, so those prices are expected to rise.
To make up for the losses in those categories, Indiana will rely more heavily on local farmers and international imports.