If prices at the farmers market this holiday weekend are a higher than they were this time last year, you can thank the warm winter and the hot summer with its drought conditions. As the growing seasons begins to end, in some regions it seems as if it never really began because yields are far below norm. Here are a few examples of the devastation that’s become apparent across the United States.


  • In Michigan, the apple pies are going to be pretty expensive this fall. The state will produce only about 3 million bushels of apples this year. They usually produce 20 to 23 million bushels, according to Ann Arbor.com. It’s the worst agricultural disaster to hit the state in 50 years.
  • Southern Illinois will produce only about half the amount of corn this year than its usual norm. Courier Press reports that last year, White County, I.L., produced 135.6 bushels of corn per acres. This year it’s estimated that same land will produce only 58.3 bushes.
  • Bloomberg compares the conditions in Kansas to the Dust Bowl. Ninety-seven percent of the farm fields in the state did not get enough moisture this summer, and all counties are federal disaster areas.
  • It’s not just this year’s weather that’s affecting farms. On the East Coast, farmers are still feeling the affects of last year’s Hurricane Irene. This year’s droughts are further complicating things from North Carolina to Vermont, according to Delaware Online.

These conditions are sure to push the price of food up even more as the year goes on. To help combat the pinch to your grocery budget, take a look at the “Good Food on a Tight Budget Guide,” and make sure your hard earned money doesn’t go in the trash can by incorporating these tips for less food waste.


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

As summer ends, this season's crop devastation numbers rise
Michigan's apple crop is far below norm, in Illinois the corn crop is about half of last year, and all over the country, the unusual and severe summer weather h