Calif. drought expected to push food prices higher across U.S.

California's prolonged drought is hurting the state's agricultural sector hard, which will likely push food prices higher across the United States.

The Golden State accounts for nearly 50 per cent of the country's total produce of fruits and vegetables. The state alone produces 95 per cent of the country's broccoli, 81 per cent of its carrots, and almost all (99 per cent) of its walnuts and almonds.

In addition, the Golden State accounts for significant amounts the country's total cattle and dairy products.

Daniel Sumner, director of the Agriculture Issues Center at the University of California Davis, cautioned that prices of rice would likely jump 10-20 per cent this year.

A fresh study by the University of California, said, "Without access to groundwater, this year's drought would be truly devastating to farms and cities throughout California."

Prices of fruits and vegetables are expected to increase by 3 per cent this year, while prices of beef and eggs will likely become dearer by 6 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively.

As the state is suffering draught for the third year in a row, the water distribution authorities have issued water-rights curtailment orders on a massive scale throughout the state. Shortage of water forced farmers to decrease the area of their crops.