The record drought gripping half the US will help push food prices up by 3 per cent to 4 per cent next year, the Department of Agriculture had said.
"In 2013 as a result of this drought we are looking at above-normal food price inflation. ... Consumers are certainly going to feel it," USDA economist Richard Volpe said on Wednesday.
Milk, eggs, beef, poultry and pork prices will all be affected by the drought, which has pushed up prices for feed. Beef prices are expected to see the biggest jump at 4 per cent to 5 per cent.
Dairy product prices are forecast to climb 3.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent; poultry and egg prices are projected to rise 3 per cent to 4 per cent; and pork prices are expected to rise 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent in 2013, the agency said.
The figures are the agency's first food price projections to factor in the drought, though farmers and others have been warning that prices will rise. The drought has sent corn, soybean and other commodity prices soaring in recent weeks as fields dry out and crops wither across much of the country's midsection.