USDA Alert: Half of U.S. Counties Designated Primary Disaster Areas, Financial Fallout “Intensifying” “Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat".

August 2, 2012

USDA Alert: Half of U.S. Counties Designated Primary Disaster Areas, Financial Fallout “Intensifying” “Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat”.(SHTF).By Marc Slavo.The largest natural disaster in American history just went from bad to worse.
Sweltering heat and persistent drought across the country has ravaged crops to such extremes this summer that tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers are on the verge of financial ruin. The situation is so dire that it has prompted the US Department of Agriculture to declare more than half of America a disaster area.

…more than half of all U.S. counties – 1,584 in 32 states – have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that’s considered the worst in decades.
Counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming were included in Wednesday’s announcement. The USDA uses the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor to help decide which counties to deem disaster areas, which makes farmers and ranchers eligible for federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.
Source: Seattle Times

Without the ability to harvest their crops, many farmers are finding it difficult to make good on loans they used to fund their operations. Cattle ranchers, who can’t find hay due to the drought and whose feed prices are skyrocketing, are also feeling the pinch.
An AgWeb discussion in early July involving small business and family farmers displayed their desperation, with many commentors indicating this summer’s drought is the worst they’ve ever experienced. Others reported their crops were dying and pleaded for rain.
That rain never came, and according to industry experts and officials at the USDA, conditions are now set to intensify and worsen.

As of this week, nearly half of the nation’s corn crop was rated poor to very poor, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. About 37 percent of the U.S. soybeans were lumped into that category, while nearly three-quarters of U.S. cattle acreage is in drought-affected areas, the survey showed.
The potential financial fallout in the nation’s midsection appears to be intensifying. The latest weekly Mid-America Business Conditions Index, released Wednesday, showed that the ongoing drought and global economic turmoil is hurting business in nine Midwest and Plains states, boosting worries about the prospect of another recession, according to the report.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the index, said the drought will hurt farm income while the strengthening dollar hinders exports, meaning two of the most important positive factors in the region’s economy are being undermined.

Food supplies across the country – for animals and humans – are literally drying up.
This will undoubtedly lead to significant food price increases across the entire spectrum of the American diet – meat, grain, dairy, vegetables and fruit.


Tom Chatham of Project Chesapeake writes:

Corn and soybean meal are staples in animal feed and the rising prices and drought conditions are forcing farmers and ranchers to sell off their herds for slaughter. This will cause a glut in the market over the short term and you may see lower meat prices as a result but this will only be temporary. By next year the prices of meat will rise as the supply of livestock reaches multi decade lows. Supply and demand will push prices higher as a result.

Larry Pope, chief executive of Smithfield Foods has recently given a dire warning. “Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat. Pork is not going to be too far behind. Chicken is catching up fast.” 

He also stated that government regulations are going to make things even worse. Almost 40% of the U.S corn crop goes to make ethanol fuel. Pope said, “Its almost a government- mandated disaster here, which is distressing”.
He warned that meat prices will rise by “significant double digits“.

For those with the ability to do so, we recommend putting away foods that your family eats regularly, and planning for at least a three to six month window of upward price pressure. Tess Pennington offers some drought preparedness tips:

The price increases will be dramatic. Expect to see fewer grocery store sales, especially those great “loss leaders” we all love to take advantage of.
Prepare for this by stocking up NOW before the major price increases hit. For instance, purchasing bulk dried corn, corn meal, and a diverse supply of bulk meats before the prices rise. Pamper your garden and get every single ounce of produce you can squeeze out of it. Buy in bulk to take advantage of lower prices and preserve food for use this winter.
Make adjustments in your shopping and eating habits now to weather the upcoming food crisis.

If you’ve got a freezer, load it up with as much meat as you can afford to buy. Package dry goods for the long-term and have a steady supply of beans, wheat (or flour), corn and rice on hand to dip into if prices do happen to jump. While we all hope for a rainy year in 2013 to get struggling farmers back on their feet and our prices at the grocery stores to affordable levels, taking measures today based on the credible information available to us can help save us from paying 30% or more in food costs over the course of the next several months.
While the idea of buying commodities at lower prices today may save us money, worst case scenario planning is always in order. A well stocked food pantry can help us supplement our diets for quite some time if we experience a drought similar to the Dust Bowl of the 1930′s, which was felt for three consecutive and particularly devastating years before things began to return to normal.Read the full story here.

it’s hard to imagine America having a shortage of meat


5 Million Farmers Sue Monsanto for $7.7 Billion.

June 5, 2012

(other)5 Million Farmers Sue Monsanto for $7.7 Billion.(By Anthony Gucciardi) Launching a lawsuit against the very company that is responsible for a farmer suicide every 30 minutes, 5 million farmers are now suing Monsanto for as much as 6.2 billion euros (around 7.7 billion US dollars). The reason? As with many other cases, such as the ones that led certain farming regions to be known as the ‘suicide belt’, Monsanto has been reportedly taxing the farmers to financial shambles with ridiculous royalty charges. The farmers state that Monsanto has been unfairly gathering exorbitant profits each year on a global scale from “renewal” seed harvests, which are crops planted using seed from the previous year’s harvest.
The practice of using renewal seeds dates back to ancient times, but Monsanto seeks to collect massive royalties and put an end to the practice. Why? Because Monsanto owns the very patent to the genetically modified seed, and is charging the farmers not only for the original crops, but the later harvests as well. Eventually, the royalties compound and many farmers begin to struggle with even keeping their farm afloat. It is for this reason that India slammed Monsanto with groundbreaking ‘biopiracy’ charges in an effort to stop Monsanto from ‘patenting life’.
Jane Berwanger, a lawyer for the farmers who went on record regarding the case, told the Associated Press:
“Monsanto gets paid when it sell the seeds. The law gives producers the right to multiply the seeds they buy and nowhere in the world is there a requirement to pay (again). Producers are in effect paying a private tax on production.”
The findings echo what thousands of farmers have experienced in particularly poor nations, where many of the farmers are unable to stand up to Monsanto. Back in 2008, the Daily Mail covered what is known as the ‘GM Genocide’, which is responsible for taking the lives of over 17,683 Indian farmers in 2009 alone. After finding that their harvests were failing and they began to enter economic turmoil, the farmers began ending their own lives — oftentimes drinking the very same insecticide that Monsanto provided them with.
As the information continues to surface on Monsanto’s crimes, further lawsuits will begin to take effect. After it was ousted in January that Monsanto was running illegal ‘slave-like’ working rings, more individuals became aware of just how seriously Monsanto seems to disregard their workers — so why would they care for the health of their consumers? In April, another group of farmers sued Monsanto for ‘knowingly poisoning’ workers and causing ‘devastating birth defects’.
Will endless lawsuits from millions of seriously affected individuals will be the end of Monsanto?Read the full story here.

awful


Ethanol is Anti-Greenhouse

February 21, 2011
Egypt want to eat CORN? Arabs Starving?
Drop Arab Prices on Petroleum then.
Otherwise… NO CORN FOR YOU

More Biofuels, More Greenhouse Gases? 
I don’t think so.  
If we are starving other countries then 
they can lower their petroleum prices!

A new study from the University of Illinois estimates that the world has more than 702 million hectares of marginal land suitable for growing biofuels. The researchers assessed land around the world based on its soil quality, slope, and regional climate. They added degraded or low-quality cropland but ruled out any good cropland, pasture, or forests; they also assumed no irrigation. They came up with the surprising total 2.7 million sq. miles of marginal land that could be available for switchgrass or other biofuel crops.

But the Illinois team didn’t, apparently, factor in a 2010 Stanford University study that found plowing new cropland anywhere in the world would sharply increase the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Plowing would release massive amounts of soil carbon -mostly as nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times as powerful as CO2. The Stanford conclusion was that the 6.6 million square miles of lands not plowed because of the higher yields from the Green Revolution prevented the release of greenhouse gases equal to one-third of all the industrial gases emitted worldwide since 1850!
This makes modern farming-with its nitrogen fertilizer, pesticides, no-till herbicides and high yield seeds-the most fabulous anti-greenhouse-warming project ever implemented by mankind. It is, in fact, the only human project that has ever forestalled a major increase in human-emitted greenhouse gases. Europe, for example has not reduced its greenhouse emissions at all since 1997 despite the Kyoto Treaty.
If we consider both studies valid, we have a big problem, All this untouched biofuel land would have to be plowed. The Stanford soil carbon figures tell us this would be the worst aggravation of greenhouse gases ever. Stanford says in effect we should plow only as much cropland as we urgently need for human food, and leave the rest to wildlife.
The Illinois paper did note a class of low-impact, high-diversity perennial grasses that could be over seeded on the existing grasses without plowing (not included in the 702 M hectare estimate). Unfortunately, the perennial-grasses ethanol yields are dismal. Plus, harvesting costs would be very high. Factoring in the cost of road-building and the highway fuels needed for transporting the harvest, it is hard to see that there would be a net gain in fuel, and there would certainly be a net loss to wildlife.
Why all of this focus on biofuels? Current U.S. and EU ethanol mandates have already produced two huge food-price spikes in the past three years, causing political unrest around the world. Japan says it has spent $78 billion on biomass projects in the past six years-with no effective impact on its global warming emissions.
Let’s remember that the world’s temperatures have officially increased by a net of only 0.2 degrees over the past 70 years. Even that warming assumes we believe the “adjusted” temperatures in the “official” records kept by James Hansen’s NASA and the discredited University of East Anglia.
Let’s burn our newly-abundant natural gas instead of the biofuels, put nuclear higher on the wish list, and let the marginal lands be wild.
[Source, Ximing Cai, “Land Availability for Biofuel Production” Published on Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois. http://cee.illinois.edu]



DENNIS T. AVERY, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Hundred Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to cgfi@hughes.net

©2011 Dennis Avery. All rights reserved.

the crops are engineered to create conversion to oxygen