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Agricultural Apocalypse 2010

Published on March 29, 2010

The food business is far and away the most important
business in the world. Everything else is a luxury.
Food is what you need to sustain life every day.

Dwayne Andreas

When a large segment of the population is facing a drastic cut in income in the face of escalating food prices we have a catastrophic problem in the making. Today we have the simultaneous events of income deflation and food inflation; two high-speed express trains coming down that tracks at each other, a financial crisis colliding with staggering crop losses, which are cutting deeply into available planetary food reserves. Prices of food are again beginning to soar again just as millions are losing the ability to afford a reasonable diet, though little of this is being observed or reported. But soon even the blind will see.

From corn to crude, prices for a wide range of commodities are
on the rise across the globe.
In recent months, global food prices
have been growing at a rate that rivals some of the wildest months
of 2008, when food riots erupted across the developing world.
January 9th Wall Street Journal

The cold is again freezing oranges in Florida. Temperatures in Miami dropped to 36F; beating the record 37F set in 1938.  Officials are saying that hundreds of millions of dollars of food perished. Vegetables were among the hardest hit. At least one major tomato grower, Ag-Mart Produce, has already declared that most of its Florida crop is “useless due to the freeze.” Other vegetable farms were expected to lose their entire crop, and wholesale prices have already increased. “Tomatoes were down around $14 for a 25-pound box; now they are up over $20,” said Gene McAvoy, an agriculture expert with the University Florida, who predicted $100 million in vegetable losses. “Peppers — just after New Year’s they were $8 a box; now they’re up around $18.”

White sugar climbed to the highest price in at least two decades
in London on speculation that India, Pakistan and other importers
will purchase more of the sweetener as a supply deficit looms.
Excess rains in Brazil and a weak monsoon in India hurt
sugar-cane output from the world’s two biggest growers.
January 20, 2010

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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. A crop failure in North America will have particularly dire consequences for major overseas markets that are highly reliant on U.S. crop imports.

Scientists in England are warning that a “perfect storm” of food shortages and water scarcity now threatens to unleash public unrest and conflict, the government’s chief scientist, Professor John Beddington, has warned.[i] “People do not quite realise the scale of the issue,” said Professor Mike Bevan. “This is one of the most serious problems that science has ever faced.” In Britain the lives of hundreds of thousands of people will be threatened by food shortages. The repercussions of food shortages for any society are devastating. The world faces “mass starvation” following more major crop failures in the United States and other places around the globe. According to 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, this mind boggling event could happen before year’s end.

We are facing a problem that literally has never been faced in human history. Surging population and food demand, food inflation, diminishing world food stocks, drought, flooding, cold, diminished credit, infestations, soil erosion, industrial farming, factory farm pollution, aquifers/wells going dry, relocation of produce for energy production are all slamming into a global financial and economic crisis. And in some places like the United States they don’t have enough farmers. Then on top of everything else we have desertification, which is one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues. New deserts are growing at a rate of 20,000 square miles (51,800 square kilometers) a year. Desertification leads to famine, mass starvation and human migration.

According to Eric de Carbonnel, “There is overwhelming, undeniable evidence that the world will run out of food next year. The 2010 Food Crisis is going to be different. It is the crisis that will make all doomsday scenarios come true. Early in 2009, the supply and demand in agricultural markets went badly out of balance. The world experienced a catastrophic fall in food production as a result of the financial crisis (low commodity prices and lack of credit) and adverse weather on a global scale. Normally food prices should have already shot higher months ago, leading to lower food consumption and bringing the global food supply/demand situation back into balance. This never happened because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), instead of adjusting production estimates down to reflect decreased production, adjusted estimates upwards to match increasing demand from china. In this way, the USDA has brought supply and demand back into balance (on paper) and temporarily delayed a rise in food prices by ensuring a catastrophe in 2010.”[ii]

According to the United States Department of Agriculture U.S. farmers produced the largest corn and soybean crops on record in 2009. And there are people who believe that anyone who believes government figures on anything concerning the economy or anything else is a total moron.

Very few people in the US have given any serious consideration to the question of food security. This essay should convince people that its time to start. For the most part, we’re not aware of the problem but if we look hard at the ‘hidden’ news we see that the handwriting is on the wall for an unimaginable crisis that will come on us as early as this year.

More than 2.1 million hectares of grain have been destroyed
by drought in 2009 in Russia, Agriculture Minister Yelena
Skrynnik said. A total of 616,000 hectares have been
destroyed in the region, or 70% of the total amount planted.[iii]

“The world is blissfully unaware that the greatest economic, financial and political crisis ever is a few months away. It takes only the tiniest bit of research to realize something is going critically wrong in the agricultural market. All someone needs to do to know the world is headed for food crisis is to stop reading USDA’s crop reports predicting a record soybean and corn harvests and listen to what else the USDA is saying.
Specifically, the USDA has declared half the counties in the Midwest to be primary disaster areas, including 274 counties in the last 30 days alone. These designations are based on the criteria of a minimum of 30 percent loss in the value of at least one crop in the county,” continues de Carbonnel.

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  • Ohio Farmer

    Anything The US Government and specifically the USDA or Farm Service Agency says is a lie not because we are going to run out of food, but because they want to CONTROL the commodities markets. USDA releases bogus crop reports every time the markets in Chicago venture out of their desired “range” But always rest assured, if the USDA speaks anything they say is BULLSHIT and for their benefit. THEY COULD CARE LESS ABOUT YOU as long as they get their way!

  • You are right by saying “Can we survive ourselves?”. Some people say this is the Darwinian test for our species. The signs are on the wall for everyone to see.

    I do not say it will be easy. I would say not everyone will make it. We will have food wars, wars for water, we will loose many of our civilisation’s technological advances… unfortunately those unwilling to accept the changes will be first in line.

    But I have hope. Our species is the most advanced on the planet, and man is intelligent, and some people do genuinely care. I believe we can find a way to a better life. Pioneers have found ways to live a sustainable life in harmony with nature and their neighbours, and more and more people are turning to it.

    Regarding saving the world, yes, it is my conviction the world can be saved, but one need to define first what is meant by that. And if this is saving the world as we know it today, including its mad economy and grasshopper lifestyle, the answer has to be no. If it is saving mankind, the positive aspects of the civilisation and its people, I know it can be done and am willing to work to help.

  • The post from market skeptics was obviously yet another scaremongering doomsday conspiracy theory. We are nearly in summer, and no food collapse seems imminent.

    However, a real food crisis is looming mid-term (say 10-30y), due to the slow disappearance of oil and other fossil fuels, erosion of arable land and destruction of various ecosystems. Thankfully there exist a solution: it is actually possible to grow food organically with higher yields than using modern agriculture. It is the no-till no-pesticide no-herbicide natural way of farming which has been re-discovered by Masanobu Fukuoka.

    Doing so will require difficult choices and sacrifice, lots of humility and patience, and giving up most of what we consider our normal way of life. But it is now a question of survival for mankind. By applying the methods of the author of “the one straw revolution” we can save our world from desertification, starvation, and survive the end of oil all together.

    See more on http://goo.gl/3LPG

    • bernardo

      You really think “we” can save the world from anything? I mean of course we can if we were a different species with different traits but you really think civilization and the people in it are going to go for anything good like the things you mention? Can we survive ourselves? That’s the main point I am really making.

      Dr. S.

  • You are invited to read the latest press release from the Space and Science Research Center (SSRC 2-2010), posted Monday, May 10, 2010, titled:

    “Food and Ethanol Shortages Imminent as Earth Enters New Cold Climate Era.”

    Please see this new press release and the included letter to US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack at:

    http://www.spaceandscience.net/id16.html

    Regards,

    John Casey
    Director
    Space and Science Research Center

  • carol

    Dont look at the government numbers, look at what the farmers are saying.
    This year, 2010 we will have a food shortage in the USA

  • If that isn’t enough the large producers of cornand wheat have already pledged through contracts much needed food resources to ethanol production. So we will be in the unique position starting this year of having plenty of food produced but little abvailable as it is used for fuel profits at the expense of killing millions this year and possibly billions in three.

  • Kevin

    Just keep Gore a millionaire with the Ethanol subsidies. The amount of food wasted on this ponzi scheme could feed millions, but then how would Al afford his extravagant lifestyle?

  • John

    Yeah I’ve heard it all before. Corn and wheat, adjusted for inflation are 1/3 of what they were 30 years ago. I sold white wheat this year for $115, in 1987, the year I bought my place from the bankrupt farmer before me, I got $160. Tear your hair out all you want, but heaven forbid if the farmer makes a profit.

  • John Pincince

    Even if the crop of corn were to be a bumper crop, it would not alleviate hunger issues around the world. Much of the corn produced in the U.S. is used to make corn syrup which is contributing to high rates of diabetes and obesity. So we are subsidizing growers with our taxes to make us unhealthy which in turn costs all of us more money for health care/disease management. Also, much corn is used to make ethanol. Yet another subsidized industry using cropland to make fuel. Wow! We must be nuts!

    • John Carraway

      I totally agree, we are going the wrong way down a one-way street, and Monsanto’s GMO’s are not helping the situation (see responsibletechnology.org and gmwatch.org). 0nly Lyndon LaRouche has come up with a plan (NAWAPA) to irrigate the deserts in the U.S. and Africa that would almost double the amount of food available, as well as employ millions of people to build the dams, aqueducts, and train tracks needed. See larouchepac.com, and write your congressman to support the project. You may not agree with LaRouche’s politics, but the plan is beyond that and will stimulate the economy, employ millions of people, and eliminate food shortages in the near future. In order to understand the impending apocalypse facing us please see chrismartenson.com.

  • For the past several years, I keep reading that a food shortage is coming each year. But each year passes without any major food problems. Is this article blowing things out of proportion?

    Dean
    http://www.freshrecipes.net/

    • John Carraway

      No, it is not in any way blown out of proportion. See chrismartenson.com to understand that we face a pending apocalypse due to growing over-population of the world and dwindling resources. Few people realize that just how bad it’s getting.