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Breaking news! Joe Bidens USDA - "prepare yourselves for a major food shortage. There is going to be a shortage of beef"

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12/11/2022 11:21 AM
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Breaking news! Joe Bidens USDA - "prepare yourselves for a major food shortage. There is going to be a shortage of beef"
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Look for beef prices to rise in 2023 and 2024 – in part because drought in Texas is forcing ranchers to send more cows to slaughter.

"There isn't enough grass to eat, and it's become too expensive to buy feed. We’ve had a large amount of culling this year because of drought," said David Anderson, a livestock specialist at Texas A&M University.

"We're sending young female heifer cows to feed lots because we don't have the grass to keep them," he said. Cows that would normally have a calf in the next few years are instead going to slaughter.

Beef slaughter is up 13% nationwide and in the Texas region, it's up 30%.

Those calves that might have been born in the spring of 2023 would be ready for slaughter in about 20 months. So in the fall of 2025, there will be fewer cattle to slaughter and higher prices.

"There's going to be a shortage of beef, and prices are probably going to go up," said the USDA's Kistner-Thomas. "This could also have a compounding effect on other meat prices as people switch from beef to chicken."

Today, Texas has about 14% of the nation's beef cow herd but as the climate changes, ranchers will face growing challenges.

"These events are getting more frequent," said Anderson. The state's experiencing more frequent severe droughts. And when the rains do come, they come differently than before, in intense bursts rather than over a longer period of time.

"You may get the same total rainfall, but you're going to get it all in one afternoon," he said. "The plants are adapted for one pattern, and we're not going to have that pattern anymore."

In 2022, so far there have been over a dozen climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While harvests in the U.S. overall have been good, some crops were devastated.

It's a pattern scientists have been warning about for decades, that higher global temperatures will bring on "weather weirding."

The "megadrought" in the West, the worst in 1,200 years, has had an enormous impact on farming in California. Seven percent of the state's cropland went unplanted due to lack of water for irrigation.

Rice, which relies on surface water, was hardest hit. Over half the state's rice acres went unplanted, according to the USDA.

"Rice is a major crop in California. We lead the nation in medium and short grain acres," said Gary Keough with the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

"A significant number of acres were not planted just because of a lack of water," he said.

"I've never experienced a year like this," he said. "There's just no comparison to other years whatsoever."

There was so little water that his fields, which normally would have held thousands of pounds of premium sushi rice, are instead bare dirt.