Coffee, meat and produce prices may see increase - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Coffee, meat and produce prices may see increase

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By: Lauren Fabrizi

From coffee to cattle, putting food on the table could soon cost more.

Analysts are calling the drought in Brazil the worst in decades and say it could cause a global coffee shortage.

But a local coffee shop owner isn't quite convinced. 

"It's something we're certainly keeping an eye on," Dan Sloan of the Mill in Lincoln said. "And you obviously have to react. If your costs increase dramatically, then our prices will have to increase."

Sloan stocks his shelves with coffee beans from Brazil and other top producing countries. He said right now, he's got a steady supply. And also has back up suppliers.

But it's not just coffee to keep an eye on. Beef, pork, milk and other produce are expected to go up this year. Many parts of the U.S. have been dealing with drought as well.

Experts said ranchers have had to sell off their herds; cattle numbers nationwide are at a 63-year low.

Since corn prices are down, experts think with time, farmers and ranchers will be able to beef up their herds again and level out the prices you pay at the store.

As for the future of coffee, that will also depend on mother nature.

"If you have a severe enough drought to actually kill the plant as opposed to just kill a particular harvest, then you really do have a long term problem on your hands," Sloan said.

For 2014, the government predicts meat prices at your local stores will go up about 3.5 percent from last year.

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