MarketWatch’s Eric Holthaus wonders whether the Dust Bowl is returning.
On the heels of the worst U.S. drought since the 1950s, long-range weather forecasts are showing that not only will the drought continue, it will intensify.
Consequences could be disastrous for farming and ranching communities across the Midwest — and lead to another spike in commodities prices should yields again suffer. . . .
The U.S. economy is still only starting to process last year’s drought. On the consumer side, recent government reports confirm that food prices have just begun to rise due to last year’s drought that — at its peak last September — covered nearly two-thirds of the country. Though hot weather and lack of rain caused futures prices for corn and soy to peak at new record highs last August, a lag in the country’s agroprocessing system means consumers — and therefore the broader economy — won’t feel the full brunt of higher supermarket prices for meat, dairy, and grains until later this year.
Much more at the link.