NIXA, Mo. — Although shoppers already paying higher prices at the grocery store, economists say prices are only going to increase from here.

“The country is getting drier and drier, especially up in the West, where a lot of fruits and vegetables are grown,” Missouri State University Professor of Economics Dr. David Mitchell said. “As water continues to dry up in that area, it’s going to get harder and harder to grow fruits and vegetables and other types of foods. It’s going to make things more expensive.”

On top of that, Mitchell said summer dry spells around the Ozarks have created challenges for farmers.

“When you’re seeing the price of grass and hay go up farmers and ranchers are going to have to get feed for the cows, pigs, sheep, they’re gonna have to get that somewhere else,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to be more expensive, which also means the price of beef and lamb and pork can go up as well, too.”

Mitchell said the reason for the high prices now is due to supply chain issues.

“At least gas came down a little bit to kind of help, but still, everything is so expensive,” Martin Bernard said. He shops at Harter House in Nixa looking to save some cash. “It’s a whole lot more expensive than when I started out. I’m not looking forward to it. But, you know, you got to do what you got to do to get through until better times come.”

Mitchell said shoppers may start to resort to store-brand items to save some money or cut back on things they normally buy. He also said consumers won’t see another price change right away. But, they should be prepared for it.