Drought and food prices are the topic this week with the USDA’s announcement that they have cut the estimates for corn and soybean crops. How will families save money at the grocery store this Fall? And as usual, providing personal finance advice, real estate advice and consumer advice with Ilyce Glink on the Clark Howard Show August 10, 2012 on WSB Radio.

This morning the USDA slashed the corn crop estimate and also cut estimates for soybean production. As it stands 63 percent of the corn crop is estimated to be withering. In the last couple of weeks, corn futures have hit an all-time high, including a record this very morning. The futures are shooting through the roof because we are the world’s exporter of these crops and the adjustments bode for a food supply shortage the world over.

Drought and food prices go hand in hand and my fear is that if you’re looking to save money this Fall, it won’t be at the grocery store. Wacky weather is behind this growing crisis with July in particular going down as the hottest, driest month on record. In the Grain Belt of the Midwest all you have to do is take a drive to see that the corn is not holding up well.

What does this mean for you? Well a shortage of corn and soybeans now is bound to affect food prices down the line. This could be the most expensive Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas meal you ever mounted:

  • Cereal prices are climbing.
  • Cattle cannot be fed so they are off to the slaughterhouse now.
  • This could lead to a shortage of beef at the holidays, and what is available is bound to be more expensive.

As I mentioned, we are the exporter to the world, so other counties are scrambling too. Mexico just placed its largest order for U.S. corn in history.

Callers and I discuss this crisis and its impact on your wallet and the ability to save money.

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