Bloomberg writer Alan Bjerga reported yesterday that, “The drought that is withering vegetable and fruit crops in California may push up food prices more than the dry spell that ravaged the Corn Belt in 2012, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

“That’s because the current crisis has brought planting in California to a near-halt, while corn and soybean crops were still being produced during the 2012 drought, he said.

“‘It’s simply because folks aren’t planting,’ Vilsack told reporters today after a discussion at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. That may force the U.S. to rely on more-expensive imports of perishable goods, he said.”

In addition, Bloomberg writer Marvin G. Perez reported yesterday that, “The layer of dust on Jeremy Brown’s cotton fields in west Texas is increasing the chance that Americans will start paying more for underwear or blue jeans.

“The drought that parched cropland and pastures across the state since 2011 has left Brown’s farm in Dawson County looking like a desert less than a month before he will sow 1,900 acres of cotton. Brown said crop conditions ‘are as bad as last year,’ when he abandoned 60 percent of plantings.

“Crop prospects are worsening in Texas, the top grower, as inventories before this year’s harvest head for a 36 percent plunge in the U.S., the world’s biggest exporter.”

And AP writer Tamara Lush reported yesterday that, “This year’s Florida orange crop is approaching the fruit’s lowest harvest in decades, and experts say a deadly bacteria that’s infecting the trees is to blame.” - See more at: http://agfax.com/2014/04/10/keith-good-drought-continues-to-ravage-california-and-texas/#sthash.dhLgTU8K.dpuf