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‘Flash drought’ could hit corn and soy prices

Althea Chang

September drought conditions in the Midwest are already hitting corn and soy farmers hard this year, but consumers may not have to worry about food prices rising, according to one weather expert.

A flash drought, caused by a short period of severely hot and dry weather, affected 52 percent of Midwest corn growing areas and 42 percent of soy growing areas last week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

As a result, corn and soy crop yield forecasts could fall, leading to higher prices for those commodities, according to Paul Walsh, vice president of weather analytics at The Weather Channel.

"We're going to see a lot of volatility as we look at periods of time where we start to see moisture, we start to see precipitation," Walsh added.

Farmers did plant extra corn and soybean crops after last year's drought, however, and that could help keep prices relatively low, Walsh said. So while commodities traders will have to react to price volatility, consumers could be spared from higher grocery and restaurant prices, according to Walsh.

By Althea Chang

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