Could rain drive up food costs? - CBS46 News

Could rain drive up food costs?

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ATHENS, GA (CBS46) -

It may be raining outside, but it's not raining money, at least not for many Georgia farmers. And in the end, that could cost you at the grocery store.

According to Paul Ossmann, a meteorologist with CBS Atlanta, metro-Atlanta has a 14" rain surplus.

Because of the rain many farmers across the state are behind on their planting. Those who have planted can't get into their fields to work them.

"It's hard to get any work done in the orchard. You can't drive in, and your tractor gets stuck," said Jay Thomas, a farmer and owner of Thomas Orchards, located near Watkinsville.

However, economists said consumers shouldn't feel the effects on their pockets yet.

"Actual farm prices only make up about 20 percent of our food costs, so even if they go up a lot, it'll only mean a tiny increase in food prices," explained Jeff Dorfman, an agricultural economist at the University of Georgia.

Dorfman added farmers still have the rest of the summer to turn things around, assuming the rain stops. However, he warned, if it doesn't, then farmers won't be able to salvage anything, and everyone could pay the price.

"You could have a big decrease in production and a big increase in prices, of up to 10, 15, 20 percent," said Dorfman.

Thomas said he wouldn't even speculate what his losses are until the season's over. However he added, "It's not good."

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