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Droughts, Food Shortages & Price Hikes. What You Need To Know.

>14 August 2012
 
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“And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love YHWH your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give [you] the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And [then] YHWH’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which YHWH giveth you.” Deut. 11: 13-17

Could America be under judgment?

Have you guys been paying attention to the major drought that has been plaguing the US? I know you’ve heard talk, but are you really up to date on how bad it is?

I know it isn’t fun to discuss, but it’s important. And I feel like it’s my obligation to bring important issues to light here, for those who don’t have time to catch up on the headlines.

By NBC News wire reports

Federal forecasters are predicting record prices for corn and soybeans, raising fears of a new world food crisis as the worst U.S. drought in half a century continues to punish key farm states.

With corn and soybean crops falling significantly short in production, we can expect the price of corn and any products that contain corn and soybeans to steadily increase. But this year’s devastating drought  won’t only raise the price of these two commodities. You can be sure it will effect much of our food supply.

Along the 195-mile Embarras River, a tributary of the Wabash in southeastern Illinois, rancher Jim Gardner worries about his 200 head of Angus cattle.

There’s enough hay–for now. But in July, the cattle started eating winter’s food, and this year’s drought has already browned his fields. When the rain stopped, the ranch cut the hay for feed. The fields are now barren.

“You have a choice: Spend money to buy hay or spend money on fuel to get hay. We may be looking for hay again in October,” Gardner writes in a first-person piece for Yahoo News.

Drought Diaries

 

Corn fields and pastures are all dried up, meaning it’s becoming either too expensive or impossible for farmers to feed their livestock. Which is leaving many of them with only one option- sell the herd.

The grass in Melvin Korte’s 280 acres of pasture in northern Missouri is dead, burnt away in the worst drought in the Corn Belt in more than a half-century. Now he’s doing all he can to keep his herd of 63 cattle alive.

He’s using up winter hay and buying feed at prices more than a third higher than three months ago. Later this year, he may bale the dead corn stalks from his neighbors’ fields for feed. “There’s not much nutrition in it,” the 65-year-old farmer says. “But it gets something in the animals’ stomachs.”

Feed-rationing may help Korte save two-thirds of his herd as he and other cattle farmers struggle to feed animals grazing on the brown and barren fields. Otherwise, “liquidation” is the alternative. Without the government-backed insurance available to corn and soybean farmers, cattle-producers may be suffering the most under the drought, responding to higher costs by sending cattle for slaughter early, with some eventually selling their herds entirely.

Bloomberg News

Arthur Meyer, who raises Angus cattle and grows corn and soybeans on his farm outside Bowling Green, Missouri, said federal aid to help defray higher feed costs would be helpful. Still, he said he doesn’t expect Congress to do anything.

He’s planning to sell his calves in September, three months early, as he runs out of the hay he normally feeds in winter months and which is costing him twice as much as it did three months ago.

“You can’t let them sit out there and not feed them anything,” the 77-year-old farmer said. “They lose weight, and now you’re going backward.”

Without rain, “I’m just going to have to bite the bullet, cut my costs, and sell,” he said.

Bloomberg News

 

What does that mean for you and I? It means that for right now, beef is going to be cheap as more meat is pushed into the market. But once the rush is over and farmers don’t have many cows to sell anymore, beef prices are going to skyrocket. It’s that old rule of supply and demand.

In the short term, what’s bad for ranchers may be good for consumers. The increased sales of animals to slaughterhouses will boost beef supplies and slow price increases at the supermarket, Lapp said. The USDA last month lowered its forecast for beef-price inflation for 2012 half a percentage point to 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. For 2013, the expectation is a gain of as much as 5 percent.

“Near term, there is an adequate supply of meat from all species,” Michael Martin, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based Cargill, said in an e-mail. “As we move into 2013, the supply of beef, in particular, could be constrained by the U.S. herd being the smallest in 60 years.”

Bloomberg News

You can also expect to see the price of milk, cheese, and other dairy products to increase.

There will still be milk to buy, says Roger Hoskin, an agricultural economist with the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. “I can’t imagine situations where you’d have people standing in line to get milk at the dairy counter. But they might not want it at the price it’s selling at.”

He adds that “you’ll see less cheese on pizzas and in salad bars.”

USA Today

 

Of course, cows aren’t the only livestock being affected by the drought. You can expect to see price hikes in poultry and eggs as well. Not to mention all of the processed foods that have corn and soy based ingredients, along with cooking oils.

Poultry prices will be the first to feel the effects of the drought.

“We expect to see a direct impact this year on poultry,” said USDA Volpe. “The animals are smaller and grow faster.”

The USDA is forecasting a 3.5% to 4.5% jump in chicken and turkey prices this year.

And expect to pay more for cheese and milk, with dairy prices headed for a 2% to 3% increase. Eggs will also be impacted, though prices are only forecast to rise 1% to 2% this year.

Consumers can expect to pay more for cooking oil and vegetable oil this year, since soybeans are the main ingredient. The USDA is forecasting a rise of 4% to 5% for fats and oils.

CNN Money

The drought has also effected non-grain crops. Many fruits and vegetables grown in the mid-west are coming at a high cost as farmers pay more for extra irrigation to water their parched plants. All of this translates to higher prices for the consumer, and less food on the market.

Why do I tell you all of this? What’s my point?

My point is that whether we like it or not, food shortages and an increased cost in food is coming. This isn’t meant to scare you, but it is meant to grab you by the shoulders and shake you into reality. There is still time to prepare your family for lean times… but you better get started now!

 

Here are some things to start acting on today…

1. Buy meat and produce on sale and either freeze it, or better yet, can it. Canning will last years longer than freezing. If you don’t have a little stand alone freezer, start scouring Craigslist for a used one and fill it up when deals come along.

2. If you have backyard chickens or small livestock, start buying extra corn and feed and storing it in airtight trash cans or buckets, before prices go up any more. The farmer we buy chicken scratch from had to raise his prices again last week. If you can afford a little extra, get it. Keep track of how much it is costing you to feed your animals, and weigh the benefits. You might consider figuring out a way to let your animals free range, if they aren’t already, to supplement their diet.

3. If you have the land, consider raising chickens and goats for milk, eggs, and meat.

4. Start cooking more from scratch and buying less processed foods which are full of corn and soy byproducts.

5. Use less oil in your cooking. If you have access to apples, make applesauce to supplement oil in your baking. You might also experiment with baking recipes that don’t use milk or eggs.

6. Learn how to make your own cheese! You can make it from fresh milk or store-bought milk.

7. Start a garden, or expand your garden this year. Start ordering your seeds for next year now, so you’ll have them on hand when the next growing season arrives.

7. Stock up now, before 2013 gets here. Every extra dollar you have should go toward investing in food that is cheaper today than it will be in just a few more months.

8. But most importantly… we need to be praying. Praying not only for our nation, and for the world, but praying that the Father reveals to each of us what He wants from us as His children. What does He require of us in order to bestow blessings? And then we need to be searching the Scriptures for answers.

What do you think about all of this? Are you preparing, or do you feel it won’t effect you enough to be concerned? Have you felt the effects of the drought in your area?

Still need more convincing? Here’s a good list to keep you busy, courtesy of Stan and Holly Deyo


 

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16 Comments »

  • Mich said:

    Saw a segment on our national news here (UK) about the drought in the USA and have to say it looked bad.
    Interviews with farmers who having worked the land for 50yrs and have never known a drought like it. Worrying times indeed.

    We havent had drought this summer we have had a excess of wet weather, now harvest is here some fields are so wet that combines are getting bogged down.
    How yields will fare I dont know, it was dry when we needed wet and now wet when we dont need it!
    One thing for sure is basket prices for everything will be on the up..

  • Fluff said:

    Last year in July, double the number of cows were sent to auction east of town, to sell because of last year’s drought. The cattle auction in our area normally handled 6000 head of cattle/week in July, but because of the severe drought, they were running 12,000 cattle/week. I thought that the price of beef would dip and that I would buy meat on the dip and pressure can it. But the price of beef never dipped and I could not figure out WHY…UNTIL I read that China was buying up the excess beef and sending it overseas.

    So the price of beef rose and stayed fairly consistently priced at $1.00/lb higher. Gone was the $2.25/lb 85% lean to 15% fat ground beef. The new price was $3.25/bl. Nope, the price never dipped down.

    Fast forward one year, and once again the drought has caused feed shortages for the cattle. Farmers are again selling off some of their herds. If it goes like last year, there won’t be a dip in prices and the cost of beef will rise to AT LEAST another $1/lb higher, which would make ground beef in my town now $4.25/lb AT LEAST! So great advise, Kendra, on how our money has more buying power now than it will next year.

    As to me personally seeing the effects of the drought, I assure your readers that I see it out my window. My garden usually gives me tomatoes thru October, at which time the remaining green ones are picked and wrapped in newspaper and stored in the cellar to ripen…thus letting us have fresh tomatoes on the table at least up until Thanksgiving and sometimes as far as Christmas.

    But not this year! The garden has burned up, and in one week I’ll be buying tomatoes at the grocery store like everyone else.
    In fact, I went to the farmer’s market and they were selling produce that had been trucked in from another state since the local farmer’s fields have burned up too! But you know, the average person at the farmer’s market had no idea because they did not ask. The customers just ASSUMED this food was locally grown. The general public is not aware how severe this drought is…wrongfully assuming since there is food at the downtown farmer’s market so everything must be fine.

    Those who consistently pick up their Bible and read it will see patterns of blessing and judgement. Indeed America is currently under judgement. The church needs to wake up and repent.

  • Wendi said:

    I live in Central Indiana and I saw the farmers start to cut their corn crop in early July. They were cutting it down for silage. There have been no farmers market here this year and my garden hasn’t produced much of anything. Luckily I was able to find some sweet corn and will be getting 25 dozen this afternoon.

    I always keep a food stockpile, but I know that it really wouldn’t last for an extented amount of time. I am trying to stock the freezer up. Not easy since even clearance meat is expensive.

    It could be a lean winter for many.

  • Debs said:

    I am not sorry to see the potential of a shake-up in Monsanto world (they are corn and soy) BUT I am SICK for the families who have been indentured to Monsanto et all just to keep the farm. What will happen to them? Who will get their land? Indeed it is a season to humble oneself and pray!

  • Susan C. said:

    We here in the Pacific Northwest have just the opposite problem. Wet and cold nearly all summer with just a few weeks in August that felt nearly like summer affecting the harvest in our gardens. No tomatoes, raspberries are the price of gold, squash and pumpkins including zucchini have been impossible to grow. I have been stocking the pantry and freezers. But there is something else that you need to worry about that most people don’t seem to be thinking about. Corn is used to make ethanol which is put in gasoline. This means the price of fuel will skyrocket affecting, well everything we do and buy. We are already seeing this on the west coast coupled with a fire at a refinery in California. The second one this year and one in Washington. Any excuse for inflating fuel prices. I also believe that our economy is going to take a hit after the elections. We have a lot of money woes coming up in January which could put us into and economic tailspin for several years. We are in for a rough ride for sure.

  • April said:

    This is interesting. Last year we suffered through a horrible drought. This year we had weeks and weeks of rain so I was not aware of a bad drought. I try to stock up on food items when on sale. I’m not exactly in panic mood but I do believe in being prepared. Honestly if milk prices shoot up we will pay them. I would have to cut back on other areas as far as food goes but I would still buy. I hope it doesn’t get that bad but if it does we will have to buckle down and ride through it. Now is a great time to stock up though.

  • Ruthlynn said:

    Thank you for posting about the Drought. It is bad here in the Ozarks. We finally bought round bales for the winter, but at a premium price. And we will hand feed the hay to our livestock. Lesson told to me from 1950′s drought survivors here. Just hard to believe we are feeding our winter hay and corn silage now. And most of the ponds around us are dry as a bone. This means we hand water our livestock too. Going to be a very hard and lean winter if no rain comes here.

  • Andi said:

    Great post! Very informative and yes… I would say we are in judgement! Gave me a reminder of one of the things we should be doing! :)

  • Liberty Man said:

    Remember the last time we had a drought during hard economic times was during the great depression and the dust bowl followed with a confiscation of the gold from the American people by the government. Another thing to remember is that almost 90% of the products on our shelves contain corn in some way or another. I sure hope people are prepared for what’s to come in 2013 with the rising food cost and the Bush era tax breaks are over. The average family will see a $1600 tax increase in 2013.

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/morning_call/2012/07/tax-stalemate-means-average-family.html

    It’s sure to make for an interesting year. Maybe that’s the reason for DHS purchasing 450 million rounds a few months back

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-28/news/31247765_1_atk-rounds-bullet

    and now an additional 750 million more rounds

    http://oathkeepers.org/oath/2012/08/13/dhs-orders-750-million-more-rounds-of-ammo/

    along with mobile bullet proof watch towers

    http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/gearing-up-dhs-purchases-bullet-resistant-checkpoint-booths-amid-large-scale-ammo-buildup_04052012

    and riot gear.

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/28/dhs-stocks-up-on-riot-gear/

  • Jennifer said:

    Here in MN I have seen an increase of things recently. I went to buy chicken feed last week and noticed it had gone up almost $3 a 40lb bag. The drought and hot weather has stunted our hay field, but with the recent cool weather and a little rain here and there, we may get one more cutting before it freezes. It is hard and I am preserving all I can out of the garden.

  • ashmmorgan2 said:

    Ya, it’s pretty nasty in eastern Nebraska. This July was the driest one on record with only 1/100th of a inch of rain! We also had record heat which dried all vegetation that wasn’t irrigated to a crispy brown. Even the fields with irrigation are looking sad and there hasn’t been hay to cut for quite some time. My husband was telling me about a guy who had a verbal agreement with a farmer for 60 round bales at $85 (an already high price at the very beginning of the drought) but when he went to pick them up a couple weeks ago the farmer said there was no way he could let them go for less than $185 each now! We were shopping for a milk cow earlier this year and were pretty sad when we weren’t able to find what we were looking for…but now I can see what a jam we would be in trying to feed it and it’s calf this fall and winter.

    I’m getting pretty worried about what’s going to happen with the price of food and fuel soon. We planted our first garden this year and started a flock of chickens and a small orchard in hopes becoming more self reliant. We were able to keep most of the fruit trees alive and our free range chickens just started laying last month and are giving us 8 eggs or more a day! Our garden, however, didn’t fair so well. Luckily we’re getting SOMETHING out of it but not enough to put up a food storage like I’d hoped. I’m going to have to start shopping for bulk food storage soon before the prices shoot up!

  • melanie keck said:

    YUP! Things are crazy I am very glad for the things which I have. We may have to live off our food storage. I am off in the next few days to finish up buying some more food storage. I hope to have a years supply on hand within the week. We have been very, very blessed. We will have food and the means to cook it.

    I do pray for those who have not heard the warnings. Thank you for being a warning bell to those who may not have heard. It is a wakeup call for all of us.

  • ann said:

    Yes, I believe America is facing judgement.

    My little garden didn’t produce enough to can this summer, I was going to buy vegetables from my meat man, untill he told me they started at $2 a pound. I started buying canned beans from the store when they are on sale. I also pick up extra staples, flour, cornmeal, dry beans every time I shop. Since I do live in the deep South, I am planting a fall garden and will be able to keep stuff growing most of the winter. I was at Costco Monday, and they had some raised bed kits on sale. These make two 4 by 4 beds, and come with a cover to keep it like a small green house. They are on sale now for less than $30.

    The next few years are not going to be easy, for anyone. This is a time for everyone to pray.

  • kim said:

    I have been reading alot of articles on this matter and things will NOT get better next year or the next year. According to experts, this drought has taken a huge toll in everything we know about food and anything made with grain products. They are estimating that it will take 3 to 5 years to get back to where we were this time last year. Farmers that will be slaughtering will take 3 years minimum to get their stock herd back to their pre-drought head count. I know that 99 percent of the population has NO idea of what is to come in the next few years. All I can say is I hope all who read your blog have been preparing for disasters, because this is going to be one to test us all! Good luck everyone.

  • mims said:

    I got warning dreams starting 2010 and started stocking up then.
    Now the warning has come true.I urge you to diversify into chick peas. Great as curry. Chick peas grind into flour for a tasty, nutty bread. Got rice flours, makes bread. Soup mix is cheap add beef or chicken cube- good as is. Got dogs? Stock up most dried dog food is corn. Can whatever you like to eat. Buy bulk flour/sugar and put in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber. I fear martial law ahead and while this is for public safety, get everything to hand to decrease going out. I wish you all the strength you will need during this impending crisis. God save us all.

  • Jaci said:

    Even though most of that corn and soy is GMO….those price changes still effect organic purchases!

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