The price of a bushel of wheat has jumped 70% since March, following shortfalls in supply as extreme weather, particularly in Europe, has resulted in record-low harvests. The world's stockpile is expected to reach a 26-year low soon, according to the L.A. Times.
Extreme heat in Ukraine, drought in Australia, hot and dry conditions across much of Canada and flooding in the U.K. have all contributed to the poor harvests across the world. Conversion of fields to biofuel crops like corn and soy -- driven by government subsidies for the alternative fuel -- also played a role, some analysts told the Toronto Star.
The U.N. warned this year that unchecked global warming will only fuel increased extreme weather, including flooding and heat waves, in the future. Some studies have already linked individual heat waves -- and certainly overall average temperature increases -- to the greenhouse gases that trap heat near the earth's surface.
The United States crop has not been as badly affected, and exports are increasing with the increasing price and world demand. However, the Department of Agriculture warned that the U.S. supply available for export will soon reach its maximum.
What this means for consumer prices at the grocery store remains to be seen, but the price of wheat can influence a number of foods, from bread and baked goods to seitan and pet food and the many other products that include wheat gluten.
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