Nationwide drought affecting Utah

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The nationwide drought is hitting Utah, which will ultimately result in a jump of prices at the grocery store.

You never know the true value of water, until the well runs dry. Farmers across Utah have battled drought before, but rarely the entire state all at once, which puts these farmers in unusual territory for federal drought disaster relief funds, as all 29 counties are now eligible for help from the government.

Agriculture in Utah is supplemented by irrigation. Our natural dry climate would not sustain most farming without that network of water. But barley, wheat, and alfalfa growers, as well as grazing animals, rely more on that good 'ol fashioned rain from the sky.

Larry Lewis from the Utah Department of Agriculture said, "We have a lot of livestock interests that are suffering, because of the drought but also the fires we're seeing."

Across the country, farmers are having a harder time feeding their livestock. So it's this area, as well as poultry and pork prices that will go up. Don't expect too much of a jump in prices of fruits and vegetables from both Utah and across the country, because these products are usually grown with sufficient irrigation. In fact, Utah cherry growers are projecting record yields. But as long as there's drought, here or in the heartland, we're going to pay for it.

"We're part of the big picture, so it's likely that food prices will go up." Said Lewis.

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