Famine in the US?

Discussion in 'Countryside Families' started by suburbanite, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I wondered from the perspective of farmers and ranchers if you guys think we're in any danger of serious food shortages in the US this year. My reasoning follows.

    1) cattle losses in the midwest due to the prolonged ice storm
    2) skyrocketing feed prices due to last years drought-decimated corn crop, plus the competition for corn for fuel ethanol vs. for feed
    3) crop damage here in California due to the current cold weather
    4) possible damage to agriculture in the south now that warm temps have coaxed many plants and trees to bud prematurely, making them vulnerable to any harsh frost between now and spring (keep in mind we have all of February to get through yet!)
     
  2. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about famine, but I do expect we will see an increase in prices on just about everything.

    In fact I was talking about this very thing to DH this week.
    We have a chance to buy a 1200# heifer for butchering. She is healthy in every way except for a deformity with her uterus. She's not been fed hormones or anything like that. Since she can't breed, she isn't much use to Son-in-laws family (dairy farmers). They know we have all the equipment to process her ourselves and have offered to let us buy her for 50 cents a pound live weight.
    DH didn't really want to spend that much money right now, but he likes to eat beef. I asked him what he expected to happen with the price of beef considering the problems they are having with huge losses this year? He decided we really can't afford to pass it up.

    We also expect to plant another huge garden this year.

    A friend and I stopped at the grocery store tonight. Her DH loves the large apples, I thought she would have a fit when she had to pay $1.49 a pound for them.
     

  3. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    No just more imports will be coming in that is all. A lot of imports are already coming into this country,, famine, No way~!
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I am not a farmer, but I DO live in Kansas and there are a lot of farms in my area.

    I see no chance of famine at all.

    Corn WILL be more expensive, but since there is only about a nickles worth of corn in a box of corn flakes, food should still be affordable. Since animals are fattened on corn, I expect the price of meat to go up a bit. Also, Orange juice will go up.

    I realized that crops in some areas have been hit hard, but, in the past the other areas have had good crops so it averages out.
     
  5. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    The crop last year was not as bad as you are leading on:

    U.S. Soybean Crop Was Largest Ever Recorded
    USAgNet - 01/15/2007

    United States soybean in 2006 totals 3.19 billion bushels, the largest U.S. soybean crop on record. This is down less than 1 percent from the November forecast but 4 percent above the 2005 production. The average yield per acre is estimated at 42.7 bushels, 0.3 bushel below both the November forecast and last year's record high yield. Harvested area is up 5 percent from 2005, to a record high 74.6 million acres.

    Corn for grain production in the U.S. is estimated at 10.5 billion bushels, down 2 percent from the November forecast and 5 percent lower than 2005. The average U.S. grain yield is estimated at 149.1 bushels per acre, down 2.1 bushels from the November forecast but 1.1 bushels above 2005. The 2006 yield estimate is the second highest on record, behind 2004, while the production estimate is the third largest on record. Area harvested for grain, at 70.6 million acres, is down 6 percent from 2005.

    U.S. sorghum for grain production in 2006 is estimated at 278 million bushels, down 4 percent from the November forecast and 29 percent below 2005. Planted area is estimated at 6.52 million acres, up 1 percent from last year, and area harvested for grain, at 4.94 million acres, is down 14 percent from 2005. Average grain yield, at 56.2 bushels per acre, is up 2.0 bushels from the previous forecast but down 12.3 bushels from last year.

    All cotton production in 2006 in the U.S. is estimated at 1.7 million bales, up 2 percent from last month but down 9 percent from last year's record high production. The U.S. yield, at 819 pounds per acre, is down 12 pounds per acre from the previous year. Production and yield are both the third largest on record. Harvested area, at 12.7 million acres, is down less than 1 percent from the December forecast and down 8 percent from last year.

    U.S. rice production in 2006 is estimated at 194 million cwt, down 13 percent from last year's crop but up less than 1 percent from the November forecast. Planted area, at 2.84 million acres, is down 16 percent from 2005. Area for harvest, at 2.82 million acres, is also down 16 percent from last year. The average yield for all U.S. rice is estimated at 6,868 pounds per acre, 232 pounds above the 2005 yield.

    U.S. tobacco production in 2006 totaled 727 million pounds, down 1 percent from the October forecast but 13 percent above 2005. Growers harvested 338,950 acres in 2006, up 1 percent from the previous forecast and 14 percent above last year. Harvested acreage is down 17 percent from 2004, the year before the tobacco buyout eliminated tobacco quotas. Yield per acre averaged 2,144 pounds, a 50 pound decrease from the October forecast and 27 pounds below 2005.

    Total 2006 U.S. potato production from all four seasons is estimated at 435 million cwt, 3 percent above the 2005 crop but 5 percent below 2004. Harvested area, at 1.12 million acres, is up 3 percent from last year but 4 percent lower than two years ago. The average yield, at 390 cwt per acre, is unchanged from last year but 1 cwt below 2004.

    Production of all dry hay in the U.S. for 2006 is estimated at 142 million tons, down 4 percent from the October 1 forecast and down 6 percent from the 2005 total. Area harvested, at 60.8 million acres, is down 3 percent from the October forecast and down 1 percent from 2005. The average yield, at 2.33 tons per acre, is down 0.02 ton from October and down 0.12 ton from the previous year.

    end of quote

    The ice storms of late really wont impact the beef market. Keep in mind that a local event has very very little effect on a national, and yes, international markets.

    As the fruit prices go, I will agree that prices will go up in the very short term as the laws of supply and demand kick in. When demand get to high, there will be others (imports as another posted) to step in and increase supply.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The corn used for ethanol isn't lost for food production. The remaining solids are excellent cattle feed when mixed with other forage such as corn stalks left in the fields after harvesting the grain. The higher price of corn will cut down on Gov price support payments. People in other countrys will miss the corn more than here.
     
  7. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I would certainly never say we are exempt from famine. I think we are a blessed nation, but I don't think we are guaranteed that blessing from God, just because, well, heck, WE ARE AMERICA.

    When there were more farmers I bet there was a LOT more prayer to God since He's the one that controls the weather.
     
  8. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    Hmm.. interesting Zeal. I know for a fact that a friend of mine sacrificed a goat to the snow gods two weeks ago. And yesterday, finally, it snowed.

    Guess it takes a while for the snow gods to process the sacrificial paperwork...
     
  9. Old Vet

    Old Vet In Remembrance

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    If a famine got started and the government got out of the way farmers would produce enough to feed the world here. There is no way that a famine could be bad for it would take one year to get a crop in and aleviate it. Of course all bets are off if you figure a necular blast.
     
  10. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    I doubt a near term famine is likely in the U.S., higher prices are likely in 2007.

    A worldwide famine is inevitable and it could happen within 5 years and I do not think can possibly be postponed beyond 15 years from now.

    Why, simply to many mouths to feed combined with changing weather, the loss of farming knowledge among populations (because of corporate tendencies) around the world and the increasing costs of energy along with soil loss and water depletion.
     
  11. hunter gatherer

    hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for a chuckle that will probably last all day.

    Sacrificial paperwork...he he he he...
     
  12. ceresone

    ceresone Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Post this on the Survival Forum, and I think you'll get different answers.
     
  13. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

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    Famine, no. Food wholesalers and retailers taking advantage of the situation to raise prices through the roof, absolutely.

    One more reason to do for yourself, grow a big garden, and make friends in the agricultural community.
     
  14. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    That is true! I watch the USDA press release site (I'm on their mailing list, too). Everytime there's a food disaster, they go looking for replacements to import. Like when the millions of tons of sugar were lost in NOLA. They imported barges-full to make it up.

    However, what happens when too many places have crop failures all at once? Then there will not be anything to import. :shrug:
     
  15. ladycat

    ladycat Chicken Mafioso Staff Member

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    But when you have failures in some areas, and they have to ship in from the areas that made good crops, the prices go WAY up in the area that had the failures. Hay is a good example. Almost impossible to find here, but when found, the same hay that's 2.50/bale in Nebraska is $12/bale here. That's because it's being shipped in from the areas that made a good crop, like Nebraska and Wisconsin.

    I hope this area gets enough rain here this year to get the hay and wheat crops made.
     
  16. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    There is quite a difference between prices going way up and outright famine.

    The hay shortage in the south is a good example. Yes hay prices are very very high, even to the point of people having to sell herds own or out.

    That is not the same as a famine.
     
  17. Clifford

    Clifford Love it, or leave it...

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    Not a major SHTF type scenario, but one that will make prices go up even farther than they have because of fuel prices. We'll have our customary large garden again, and I'm planning on growing a couple feeder pigs to butcher in the fall. About all we need is a cow for milk and a beefer to put up. The prices of everything is so high now, I would imagine because of fuel prices, and now that gas had gone down in price, I'm betting that everything else will remain constant. Just makes so much sense more than ever to be more self sufficient.