Droughts, Food Shortages & Price Hikes. What You Need To Know.
“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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…
- Worst Drought in Half Century: Crop Production Down, Prices at Record Highs: USDA Releases Grim Assessment of Drought
- Shrivelled US Corn Crop Heralds Supply Squeeze Drama
- Drought, Food Prices Fan Fears of New Crisis
- Ranchers Send Cows to Slaughter as Drought Sears Pasture
- Report: Drought Worsens in Key Farm States
- U.S. Crops Limping into Autumn as Drought Lingers
- Livestock Farmers Still Seeking Pause in Ethanol Production
- U.S. Drought Drives Up Food Prices Worldwide
- The Hunger Wars in Our Future
- Worldwide Droughts Severely Affecting Grain Crops
- Drought: Farmers Dig Deeper, Water Tables Drop, Competition Heats Up
- Britain Faces Food Price Hikes as Fears Grow That Drought-Hit Russia May Impose Export Ban on Grain
- Thanksgiving Turkey Prices to Go Up
- Grains Foreceast – Next Move Hinges on USDA Drought Tally
- Food Disaster Worries Mount: U.S. Drought Continues to Worsen
- No Help for Farmers as Congress Breaks
- Continuing Drought Forces Livestock Producers to Downsize
- Italy May Have Lost Third of Corn Crop on Heat, Drought
- Small Farmers Struggle as Drought Kills Vegetables
- Lion’s Share of Crops to Swelter into August
- Parched Fields as Drought Devastates US Crops
- Small Farmers Suffer Doubly in Drought: Crop Loss and No Insurance
- Grain Markets Soar on Worldwide Crop Downgrades
- Think America Isn’t Being Judged? So. America Readies Record Crops Amid U.S. Drought
- Arkansas Farmer: Worst Drought I Have Ever Experienced in My Lifetime + Pics of Decimated Veggies
- Crops Keep Shrinking in Historic Drought
- Get Ready to Pay More for Your Steak
- Drought Afflicts 86% of U.S. Midwest, Crops Wilt
- Drought, Heatwaves, Now Hail Damages Crops, USDA Responds, Growers Alerted to Fire Blight Danger
- How the Drought Will Affect Consumers (and What You Can Do About It)
- Signs of the Food Apocalypse: Burger King App
- Some Rain But Not Enough to Stave Off Crop Losses
- Soybeans Next Casualty of 2012 Drought
- Midwest Drought Worsens, Food Inflation to Rise
- World in Serious Trouble on Food Front
- Upper Midwest Sees Forecast of Rain, But Enough?
- Irrigation Business Reigns as Farmers Fight Drought
- First Drought and Heat, Now Pests Are Destroying Corn Fields
- Quietly, A Food Crisis Brews
- Cowpocalypse: Prepare for the Largest-Ever Drop Off in Livestock Herds
- Midwest Drought Now Burning Pig Farmers, Too
- No Respite for U.S. Crops; Kentucky Corn Hit Hardest
- Drought Expected to Drive Up Cost of Milk, Cheese
- …Officials Pray for Rain
- Corn Production Slashed – Soybeans Next Shoe to Drop?
- UK Wheat Exports Tumble as Stocks Hit “Historical Low”
- World Grain Price Surge Triggering Defaults
- Livestock, Ethanol Producers Fight Over Who Gets the Grain
- As the US Drought Spreads to India, Will the Black Swan Be Deep Fried
- Corn Disaster: Rain Coming, But Not Enough
- Corn Prices Headed for Record Highs as Crop Shrinks
- Widespread Drought Threatens U.S. Crops
- Threatens World Food Supply: “We’re Moving from a Crisis to a Horror Story”
- From Milk to Meat, Grocery Prices Spike as Drought Lingers
- Ranchers Hit by Fires, Drought — and Scarce Alfalfa
- Food Crisis Fears as US Corn Soars
- Worst Drought in the US in 25 Years Wrecks Havoc on Country’s Most Important Crops
- Drought Hits Corn Crop Hard 3
- Some Corn Farmers Mow Fields As Drought Worsens
- Farmers Suffer as Soaring Temperatures Worsen Drought in Midwest
- Midwest Corn Crop Hinges on Next 30 Days
- Widespread Drought Causes Corn Prices to Surge; Grocery Goods Next?
- Crops Surge as US Cuts Harvest Outlooks Amid Parching Drought
- USDA Forecasts Higher Beef Production as Pastures Deteriorate
- Russian Grain Harvest to Fall 15% in 2012
- Grocery Store Items Really Are Shrinking Before Our Eyes
- Farmer Says Drought Turns Cattle Ranch into ‘Desert’
- Corn Crisis Explodes into Corn Disaster
- Missouri Needs Rain and Lots of It to Save Crops
- Extreme Heat Affects Jersey Crops
- Heat Wave Threatens Crops: “It Could Be Catastrophic” 2
- In Texas Cotton and Corn Are Hurting – Farmers May Not Plant FALL Crops
- In Tenn. Crops Wilting Under Extreme Temperatures – Even the Weeds Are Dying
- Ohio’s Corn: “Rain Could Still Help, But Much of the Damage Is Already Done”
- 20-50% of Corn Crops in 9 States Rated Poor or Very Poor; Stockpiles Down 48% March-June
- Midwest Drought Affecting National Food Production
- Drought Could Spell Steep Crop Insurance Losses
- Fears of New Dust Bowl as Heat, Drought Shrivel Midwest Corn
- Colorado’s Drought Declared a Crop Disaster
- What Happens If Record Heat, Crippling Drought Cause Widespread Crop Failures Throughout The U.S.?
- Heatwave Threatens US Grain Harvest
- Deforestation and Food Demand
- Heatwave, Drought Visably Impacting Nation’s Corn Supply – Lowest Stockpile Since 1996
- Corn Prices Rise as Midwestern Crops Wilt in Heat
- Closer Look Reveals Vulnerability in Wheat Supplies
- Gov Criminalizes Self Reliance: Woman’s Survival Garden Seized and Destroyed by Authorities
- Canada’s Food Supply at Stake in New Trade Talks
- Farming Woes in Arkansas
- Crops in Western Ky. Suffering Due to Drought
- Storms, Hail Damage Some Crops in South Dakota
- Cattle Ranchers Hit Hard By Drought 4
- Downpour Wipes Out 1/3 of Minn. Farm Crops
- Russia’s Rostov Farmers May Have Lost 30% of Grains Due to Drought
- Millions of Grasshoppers Eating All Vegetation
- UN: Food Supply Tenuous for 16 Million NKoreans
- Army Worms Devour Crops at 40 NY Farms
- USDA Reduces Estimate of Nebraska Wheat Harvest
- Odd Spring Leaves Michigan’s Cherry & Apple Crops in Bad Shape
- Watching Building Drought in Corn Belt
- 3 California Counties Declared Agricultural Disasters
- Deep Sand Covers Farm Fields After Flooding
- Michigan’s Fruit Crop Hit by “the Most Damaging Weather Season in Recent Memory”
- Farmer Panic! Crops Die as Gov’t Blocks Wells
- Maize Disease to Cause Food Shortage
- 2012 Global Food Shortage Emergency Crises – Start Storing Survival Food 1
- Groundwater Depletion Threatens Food Security in California, Texas
- Extreme Weather Cancels County’s Fruit Harvest
- Ontario Apples ‘a Disaster’
- The US, China, and India Risk Severe Water Shortages
- Caterpillars Threaten Southern Crops
- Severe Storm Destroys Thousands of Acres of Crops Wisconsin
- Hail Storms Damage Thousands of Acres of New Mexico Crops
- Food Prices Hit Record High in Indiana Farm Bureau Survey