updated - March 29, 2015 Sunday EDT
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday that beef, poultry and eggs will experience an increase in price.
The USDA said the California drought is responsible for the increase and will lead to a larger rise in prices, according to Reuters.
Prices for overall food, food-at-home and food-away-from-home are expected to grow by 2.5 to 3.5 percent this year. The consumer price index saw an increase for all food prices last year by 1.4 percent.
The agency said the continuing drought in California may have "large and lasting effects on fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices," but the impact has yet to be seen, Reuters reported.
California is the top farm state in the U.S., responsible for the production of about half the country's fruits and vegetables. The state currently faces a water crisis, with 2013 being its driest year on record. The drought may result in many unplanted farmlands.
The drought could have an effect on the amount of produce available in grocery stores, KAGS TV reported.
"I noticed that from the people that I buy from," said John DeLeon, Village Foods Produce Manager. "Like my salads are fixing to take a hit."
The agency said the prices for farm eggs have been changing rapidly recently, decreasing by 28 percent in January and then increasing by 20 percent in February, Reuters reported. Farm cattle prices grew in February by 1.1 percent, while wholesale beef prices grew by 2.4 in the same month.
"While not unusually large, these changes indicate that the record-high supermarket beef prices across the country are here to stay for the coming months," the USDA said.
The USDA said that after remaining steady in 2013, the amount of processed, shelf-stable foods is expected to increase by 2 to 3 percent this year, Reuters reported. These items make up 12 percent of consumer food spending in the U.S. Retail profit margins may grow this year and increase inflation.
The agency added that retail prices for processed dairy foods, such as cheese and ice cream, could also grow due to a falling in size of the U.S. dairy herd.
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