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Food Shortages Coming to America? Global Starvation Imminent as US Faces Crop Failure?

 
Anonymous Coward
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Canada
08/24/2009 12:55 PM
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Food Shortages Coming to America? Global Starvation Imminent as US Faces Crop Failure?
# In recent days, numerous stories detail crop and livestock damage. Drought, floods, hail and freezes have bitten our foods, but whatever the cause, the result is the same — destroyed or damaged food supplies. These ultimately lead to higher store prices, shortages and in more extreme circumstances, rationing.

California and Texas – America’s two main food producing states – are experiencing severe, ongoing drought. California is suffering through a 4th straight year of horrendous water shortages, which has impacted every single crop it produces. See California’s Vital Role in Food Production for an eye-opener of what this states brings to your table.

Parts of Texas are experiencing the worst drought ever and fears are surfacing that it may be here to stay. Extreme drought is impacting everything that Texas produces. Marketing economist Dr. Mark Welch expects drought to cut Texas’ corn crops by 45%, sorghum by 69%, and wheat 62%. Cotton fields are so dry they’re being abandoned. These aren’t the only foods in trouble. Vegetables, horticulture plants, peaches and their world famous pecans have also taken severe hits. April freezes wiped out some Texas grapes leaving wineries in tough shape.

Drought in Wisconsin has pushed farmers to the edge and where it hasn’t destroyed crops and livestock outright, crops are at least 3 months behind. In Iowa, hail losses try farmers’ hearts. To the north, the story is the same. Some Canadian farmers expect to harvest only 20-25% of their usual yield.

And don’t forget livestock… At least 40% of Texas’ cow herds live in exceptional or extreme drought areas. Little or no hay has been baled this year and cattle are suffering. Farmers have been forced to sell underweight animals because there’s no grass in the fields. In July it was deemed “critical” that Texas receive serious rain to maintain their animals. Now a month later, still no rain. This massive moisture blow has also affected goat, sheep and horse herds as well as honey production.

Wyoming’s herds have thinned by 300,000 head. The crulprit? A decade-long drought. Canada too, feels the harsh impact with farmers struggling through the worst drought in 50 years and forced to sell their herds. Ditto in Argentina except their animals are dying before they get to market. Cuba and Guatamala are also experiencing food worries.

The UK Telegraph writes that El Niño Threatens Food Shortages. Longer-term consequences are detailed in Global Starvation Imminent as US Faces Crop Failure. While we are not at this point now, grouped together, current news stories paint an unsettling picture.

We are a global community depending on other countries’ imports and exports. The US has many long-standing contracts promising to deliver millions of tons of grains and meats to other countries. Pakistan, India, Africa and China – all very large countries/continents – have trouble growing enough food in normal times. Due to drought, they are in terrible shape. These are countries that regularly buys US foodstuff. What happens when are own supplies are in jeopardy?


The world faces “mass starvation” following North America’s next major crop failure. And it could even happen before year’s end. So says Chicago-based Don Coxe, who is one of the world’s leading experts on agricultural commodities, so much so that Canada’s renowned BMO Financial Group named the fund after him.

…an imminent crop failure in North America will have particularly dire consequences for major overseas markets that are highly reliant on U.S. crop imports, Coxe cautions. Sadly, this scenario could have been avoided had successive North America’s governments not weakened the farming industry with too much political interference, he suggests.

“We’ve got a situation where there has been no incentive to allocate significant new capital to agriculture or to develop new technologies to dramatically expand crop output. We’ve got complacency,” he told BNW News Wire. “So for those reasons I believe the next food crisis – when it comes – will be a bigger shock than $150 oil.”

He notes that farmers, not just in North America, but the world over are still reeling from the global economic meltdown and have consequently curtailed their output. Thus, the inauspicious prospect of a drop in global food production this year – the first annual dip in living memory – means that farmers will not be able to keep pace with current grain demand.

“And when we have the first serious crop failure, which will happen, we will then have a full-blown food crisis, which we will not be able to get out of because we will still be struggling to catch up (as a result of diminished crop yields),” he says.

Furthermore, the prospect of a near-term global food crisis has been exacerbated by a surge in demand for high-quality protein (meat) in emerging super-economies such as China and India, Coxe says. This means that burgeoning global demand for crop staples is already beginning to outstrip supply.

“During this decade, the annual increase in hectares of global cultivated farmland has been roughly 1.5 per cent, at a time global demand for grains and soybeans has been growing at double that rate,” he says. “We will be dealing with mass starvation with the first serious crop failure. It could happen as early as this fall if for instance we have a killing freeze in Iowa in August.”
Me114

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08/24/2009 01:35 PM
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Re: Food Shortages Coming to America? Global Starvation Imminent as US Faces Crop Failure?
bump
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Doominator
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08/24/2009 01:37 PM
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Re: Food Shortages Coming to America? Global Starvation Imminent as US Faces Crop Failure?
Just the scraps in the fields on the 333,000,000 planted acres next to my house, not to mention my own gardens and stockpiles, can keep me for at least 30 years!

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