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Pasta prices rise after North Dakota loses million acres of wheat to heavy rain, flooding
PLAZA, N.D. (AP) ' Consumers are paying more for pasta after heavy spring rain and record flooding prevented planting on more than 1 million acres in one of the nation's best durum wheat-growing areas.
North Dakota typically grows nearly three-fourths of the nation's durum, which is used to make semolina flour for pasta.
But this year's crop is expected to be only about 24.6 million bushels, about two-fifths of last year's. And, the U.S. Department of Agriculture expects total U.S. production to be a little more than half of last year's.
The president of the nation's largest dry pasta maker says prices are already rising. Walt George of the American Italian Pasta Co. says the price jumped about 20 cents in the past few months to an average of about $1.48 a pound nationwide.