Drought Stalks the Global Food Supply

When rain doesn’t fall in Iowa, it’s not just Des Moines that starts fretting. Food buyers from Addis Ababa to Beijing all are touched by the fate of the corn crop in the U.S., the world’s breadbasket in an era when crop shortages mean riots.

This year’s dryness is intensifying just as the plants reach their most sensitive development stage. If ample rain doesn’t fall by mid-July, U.S. farmers may face catastrophe, says Matthew Rosencrans, a National Weather Service meteorologist who specializes in drought.

In 2010 a drought that withered Russia’s wheat crop sent consumer prices in North Africa and the Middle East skyward, contributing to unrest that fed the Arab Spring. More than 60 food riots occurred worldwide between 2007 and 2009, when rapidly rising commodity prices wreaked havoc on family budgets, especially in poorer countries, where 70 percent of a household’s income may go to food. An extended U.S. drought would have a “tremendous” impact on world food prices, as a higher cost for one dollar-denominated export crop cascaded into others, Abbassian says. “The world looks to the U.S. as the safest source of supply,” he says. “Everyone watches the U.S. because they can rely on it. Without it, the world would starve.”

businessweek.com/articles/2012-07-05/drought-stalks-the-global-food-supply

The crop in Russia and India aren’t faring well, but the US is being hard hit.

Here is a map of current drought conditions, as of two days ago.

droughtmonitor.unl.edu/archive/20120703/pdfs/total_dm_120703.pdf

Iowa isn’t as hard hit as other states, but we aren’t expecting rain in the near future, either. :frowning:

This is the fruit of sin, are we going to change our ways, or we going to pave the way in and through our invincible ignorance? God have Mercy.

I’ve been expecting this for the last 2 years. I’m ready. I pray other people here are as well.

Only at times like this do people realize that the greatest treasure the United States has is our immense quantity of arable land. Some may think the vast, sparsly populated zone we fly over on our way from coast to coast is of no account. WRONG!

The only comparable areas in the world are occupied by our neighbors to the north who live on the same plains that extend into Canada, the inhabitants of the pampas in Argentina, and the people of the Ukraine.
When things go wrong in these areas, from weather to politics, humans suffer. In times of famine, the Book of Job makes good reading.

Imperial Russia withstood disastrous war and economic policies for decades but only when the food lines grew too long did revolution occur. Imperial Germany had defeated Russia and its armies stood deep within France but food shortages killed support for the war and the government collapsed. The Soviet Union withstood disastrous economic policies for decades but only when the food lines grew too long did the communist fall.

The US farm policy was to ensure vast amounts of cheap food were available to ensure national stability even to the detriment of the farming industry. Nothing makes politician quake more than a hungry populace.

I have a place in central Illinois and driving around today it was easy to see the corn crop looks very unhealthy around here. There probably have been times where it was this dry in the past, but this is the worst that I can recall over a couple decades. Have heard that a number of farmers in the area that took out insurance are plowing their fields under already. They consider the crop a failure.

The economy doesn’t need another hit, but if this dry weather remains a poor crop will not only effect America, but as I was reading other nations in the world. For example if I recall correctly, the riots in Egypt began due to rising food prices.

“Sweltering Heat Kills U.S. Corn, Blights Economic Hopes”

blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/07/05/sweltering-heat-kills-u-s-corn-threatens-global-recovery/

snippet:

…A bad harvest could affect the presidential election; the Farm Belt states have been among the best performers during the economic recession. President Obama wants Iowa farmers in particular to be in a good mood when they troop to the polls; we shall see.
This is bad news for more than just U.S. farmers, consumers and politicians. For too many people around the world today, the price of food is the single biggest factor determining their standard of living. Middle Eastern countries in particular are vulnerable to price shocks in the world food supply. After three months of declines, world food prices are already rising on the news of the Midwest heat wave and what it’s doing to the American harvest.

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