Indiana students worry drought will raise prices

Apple and corn harvest have been hit hard.

Aug. 28—There are worries among students and dining services at Indiana University, Sotuh Bend, that campus food prices may soon be going up. With an already-strapped economy, higher prices anywhere are a cause for concern.

With March temperatures so warm, crops became confused and foliage started to sprout earlier than expected. Once the cold front returned the crops were severely damaged. If these conditions did not pose enough of a problem for Indiana farmers and their crops, the severe drought definitely did.

“There are two things that went on, not just the drought but there was also the spring that we had. We went from winter temperatures to 80 degree weather,” said Ziggy Pairitz, director of dining services at IU South Bend. “I’ve heard that we have lost 80 to 90% of our apple crop, coupled with that the drought that we had mid-summer obviously affects the corn. We can see we are in for a bumpy road."

The Agriculture Department recently reduced its corn harvest projection by 13%, bringing expected output to a six-year low and causing speculation that food prices will steepen.