Other ripples through the economy will come with the reduction of livestock production, and the subsequent reduction of the demand for commercial feed. The economists report, “The widespread reduction in crop yields in Iowa will reduce harvest times, it will decrease grain hauling, and there will be less demand for grain storage. Farther on, reduced yields, especially in the eastern part of Iowa, will decrease the demand for barge transport. In the nearer term, warehousing and shipping might see the greatest impacts from reduced farm quantity production.”
As livestock producers reduce their herds, more animals will find their way to slaughter in the near term increasing the demand for meat industry employment, but after the high volume, there will be a downturn in volume and less demand for labor.
The economists also point to the grocery store, and say, “Initial reductions in animal herds will result in higher meat supplies and lower prices. However, over the long run, there will be constrained animal production, which will lead to higher meat prices. In addition, as high grain prices will work their way through the entire food processing industry, consumer food prices broadly are expected to rise.”
The economists also predict government help for those suffering from the drought, particularly in an election year. However, as we close in on the election, there seems to be less chance of any federal drought relief.
The impact of the drought is not only felt in crop and livestock production, but in water supplies and recreation, as well as in grocery stores and even family budgets. Some impacts will be felt immediately, but others not for some time to come.