The drought is pushing up the cost of meat and milk and other dairy products for the state's consumers. That's because the cost of feed for California cattle, poultry and hog farmers is soaring as Midwest farms face a shortage of corn and soybean — key feed ingredients.
The higher prices won't hit the grocery shelves for a few months, but when they do, consumers will be paying 10% to 15% more for milk, beef and poultry, farmers and economists said. But even rising retail prices may not be enough to sustain all California livestock and dairy producers.
“This is going have a huge impact on the industry, on California agriculture and on the public. It's going to hit people in the pocketbook,” said Jonathon Beckett, a San Diego beef cattle nutritionist and consultant.