As if the supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 weren’t enough, drought conditions have now gripped California, Florida, parts of the Southwest and south Texas. The drought means additional expense for some farmers to find water or bring their livestock to a water source. It also increases the cost and a lack of selection at grocery stores for some crops grown in the United States.
But any impact on price is hard to track amid widespread disruptions in the supply chain during the pandemic, farmers said.
A little over 12 percent of the country was experiencing moderate to exceptional drought at the end of March, and Florida's condition worsened to severe drought late last week, according to reports from U.S. Drought Monitor. Rainfall, soil moisture and satellite imagery of vegetation indicated fire risk, water shortages and crop loss in the state.
California and Florida are the only areas with significant winter produce crops, and farmers in both states harvested as drought concerns grew this spring. Florida produces a broad variety of fruit and vegetables in winter, while California's production includes groves of almonds and other nuts.