This Nationwide Drought: Bad for Food Prices and Good for Insects

With drought-tied U.S. corn prices at a record high, the effects will ripple far and wide.

The worst drought in half a century will cause food prices to skyrocket, according to the latest figures released by the USDA. More than 60 percent of the country is currently in some state of drought, and week by week, it has worsened. In the past month, the price of corn has climbed 50 percent to an all time high of $8.24 per bushel and is expected to continue upward.

The Climate Desk is closely tracking the ripple effects of the extreme weather, which U.S. consumers will feel in their wallets at the grocery store checkout well into next year. Based on the USDA's projections, The Climate Desk's James West created this graphic:

These price increases may not seem severe, but for a working family, they can be a back breaker. Higher food costs take time to work through the supply chain, so the impacts likely won't be widespread until September. Those ripples are global too. Remember the food riots that swept the developing world in 2008? Experts are warning of a repeat.

Oh, and there's the threat of a massive insect invasion.