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Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due to Poor US Harvest

Global Food Supply Crises May Worsen Due to Poor US Harvest

U.S. agriculture has been facing a poor harvest this year, aggravating the global food supply crisis, industry executives have said.

The supply of food worldwide has been tight, since Russia’s war in Ukraine cut off vital shipments of resources needed to make fertilizer and grain products from the region.

Several high-level executives from big agricultural firms such as Bayer, Corteva, Archer Daniels Midland, and Bunge, told The Wall Street Journal that it will take at least two more years of good harvests in North and South America to ease the supply pressures.

“The current market expectation is that global grain and oilseeds markets need two consecutive normal crop years to stabilize global supplies,” said Chuck Magro, chief executive of Corteva, at an investor presentation this week.

This year’s grain harvest has fallen below normal yields in the West, hindering efforts to restock global crop supplies he explained.

The United States and South America, two of the world’s major crop exporters,  faced persistent drought conditions this summer.

The hot summer worsened drought conditions in states throughout the U.S. Grain Belt, which saw a major reduction in the harvest due to lack of water and a wet spring planting season earlier in the year.

The Agriculture Department announced on Sept. 12, that it had lowered its nationwide corn production estimates to 13.9 billion bushels.

This is 3 percent lower than its projections in August, about 8 percent lower than the total amount harvested last year.

Projections for soybean production estimates in September were down 3 percent from August, down slightly from 2021.

Maintaining a Food Truce

Global recession fears have also weighed on food commodity markets and the prolonged conflict in Ukraine has not helped matters.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Europe’s Natural Gas Shortage Could Trigger A Food Crisis

Europe’s Natural Gas Shortage Could Trigger A Food Crisis

  • Energy crises impact nearly every aspect of our lives, and that is particularly true of food markets, with food production next year expected to be severely threatened.
  • About 70 percent of the cost of fertilizer production is solely the price of natural gas, and as the price of energy soars, the cost of making and moving food is increasing alongside it.
  • At the same time, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and threats from Putin that Russia may alter grain export routes have only added to uncertainty in food markets.

The problem with an energy crisis is that it’s actually an everything crisis. In a world where virtually every industry relies on energy in some form, runaway inflation is an inevitability. This phenomenon is not news – you’ve been experiencing it for the better part of two years now. But while global governments are using every tool in their kits to curb the rising inflation rates, there’s far less they can do about the coming food shortage.

For months, the agricultural industry has been warning the rest of the world that next year’s food production is severely threatened, as the fertilizer industry is in shambles. Industrial NPK fertilizers (so named for their makeup of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium oxide), are heavily reliant on natural gas supplies. About 70 percent of the cost of fertilizer production is solely the price of natural gas, which is used in liberal amounts to make the ammonia phosphate slurries that turn into fertilizer. Indeed, according to CRU Group, European fertilizer producers in the region are currently losing approximately $2,000 for every ton of ammonia produced. So as Russia has stemmed and then indefinitely stopped the flow of natural gas into Europe, sending gas prices through the roof, the continent’s fertilizer sector has halted as much as 70 percent of its production capacity.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why are farmers in the Netherlands protesting?

Blamed for much of the climate crisis, biodiversity decline, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, farmers and farming are at the centre of a worldwide debate which is only gaining heat. This argument has come to a head in the Netherlands, where farmers have been involved in high-conflict protests, blocking roads with tractors and farm waste, and setting fire to bales of hay. Police response to protests has been reportedly heavy handed –  even shooting at protestors.

Why are they protesting? Dutch courts have insisted on a 50% (up to 70% in some areas) reduction in nitrogen pollution by 2030, to be achieved by drastic reductions in livestock numbers. Farmers feel singled out, and the Government has taken a U-turn on its previous support of intensive farming.

Flag of the Netherlands

The problem

For decades, in the Netherlands, government policy has promoted the intensification of the livestock sector, and a lack of intervention in the market has meant that prices have been pushed down, leaving ever-greater intensification as the only means to stay afloat for many. The Netherlands have Europe’s highest livestock density, with 3.8 ‘livestock units’ (a measure of animal numbers) per hectare of agricultural area, which, being a small country, leaves it with a huge issue when it comes to the volume of waste these animals produce. When manure and urine mix, ammonia, a compound of nitrogen, is released, and can damage natural habitats and result in air pollution. While the focus of much of the coverage has been on dairy farms, pig farms in the Netherlands, in particular, are also a major source of nitrogen and phosphate pollution, with much of the nitrogen coming in the form of high protein soybean meal, often imported from recently deforested areas in South America.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis

Wave Of European Ammonia Plant Closures To Exacerbate Food Crisis

A wave of European ammonia-plant shutdowns due to soaring natural gas prices has resulted in a devastating fertilizer crunch, worsening by the week, with as much as 70% of production offline.

“Ammonia prices, though volatile, rose 15% in 3Q and could climb higher as Europe’s record gas prices curtail output and send ammonia producers to the global market in search of replacement supplies to run upgrade facilities — with winter still around the corner,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Alexis Maxwell wrote in a note.

As of Friday, 70% of capacity is offline across the continent, according to Fertilizers Europe, representing top regional producers.

“The current crisis begs for a swift and decisive action from EU and national policymakers for both energy and fertilizer market,” Jacob Hansen, director general of Fertilizers Europe, said in a statement.

Producers from Norway’s Yara International ASA to CF Industries to Borealis AG recently reduced or halted production because European NatGas prices hit a record high of 343 euros per megawatt hour, making it uneconomical to operate.

“We confirm we are reducing and stopping production of some fertilizer plants in the different EU sites and this for economic reasons,” a spokesperson for Borealis AG said. 

Europe’s benchmark NatGas price soared nearly a third this week as Russian supplies to Europe via Nord Stream 1 pipeline have been reduced to 20% over the summer and face a temporary halt on Aug. 31 for three days.

The region’s fertilizer industry association warned the energy crisis is rippling across many industries and could heavily impact the food industry.

“We are extremely concerned that as prices of natural gas keep increasing, more plants in Europe will be forced to close.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Water Worries and Drought Tolerant Plants

Water Worries and Drought Tolerant Plants

A Summer Update from Shipka

This summer has been incredibly hot and dry, and even some of the older and more established trees have looked under strain. With increasing periods of hot and dry weather and pressure on both the mains water supply and our perennial source from the river, designing our gardens to be as resilient as possible seems the best way forward. During this post, we’ll be looking at the challenges we’ve faced this season with our usual water supply and take a look at some useful drought tolerant plants that have faired well in dry and hot conditions.

Our project is located in the town of Shipka on the foothills of the Balkan mountains in central Bulgaria. As such our gardens have a gradient that means we can benefit from a gravity-fed perennial water source, a local mountain stream.  The stream water can be diverted into purpose-built cement channels that run down the sides of many of the streets and under roads, making this water accessible for many households. It can also be diverted into the fields. It’s an incredible system although somewhat neglected. All of our gardens were designed to take advantage of this resource.  In the image below you can see the main path of the stream through the mountain, and then the diversion created. The highlighted plot here is one of our gardens, Phronesis. There is approximately a 3m drop from the north to the south of the plot and the slope is more or less even from east to west.
Image by author
The mountain stream can be diverted into the site from the north
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European Corn Yields Expected To Plunge Amid Worst Drought In 500 Years

European Corn Yields Expected To Plunge Amid Worst Drought In 500 Years

Besides the news of record high electricity prices, a troubling new crop failure report about Europe’s upcoming harvest was published Monday. The bloc’s Monitoring Agricultural Resources forecasted corn yields could drop by nearly a fifth due to a devastating drought, according to Bloomberg.

Before we dive into the crop report, Europe’s centuries-old ‘hunger stones’ were recently revealed in the Elbe River, which runs from the mountains of Czechia through Germany to the North Sea. The stones date back to a drought in 1616 and read: “Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine.” That translates to “if you see me, then weep.” 

The warning on the stones appears correct because the new crop report forecasts corn yields will drop 16% below the five-year average. That compares with a July forecast of an 8% decline.

The plunge in corn output could result in further food inflation. It will boost feed costs for livestock herds, adding to even more woes for farmers who are plagued with elevated diesel and fertilizer prices.

“Water and heat stress periods partly coincided with the sensitive flowering stage and grain filling,” according to the crop monitoring report. “This resulted in irreversibly lost yield potential.”

In late August, about half of Europe is under a drought warning. Crops, power plants, industry, and fish populations have been devastated by the heat and lack of rainfall. The European Commission Joint Research Centre warned earlier this month the ongoing drought is the worst in 500 years as vast amounts of farmland turn to dust.

Heading into the fall, western and central Europe face a very high risk of dry conditions over the next three months that could result in water shortages.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Global food insecurity and famine from reduced crop, marine fishery and livestock production due to climate disruption from nuclear war soot injection

Global food insecurity and famine from reduced crop, marine fishery and livestock production due to climate disruption from nuclear war soot injection

Abstract

Atmospheric soot loadings from nuclear weapon detonation would cause disruptions to the Earth’s climate, limiting terrestrial and aquatic food production. Here, we use climate, crop and fishery models to estimate the impacts arising from six scenarios of stratospheric soot injection, predicting the total food calories available in each nation post-war after stored food is consumed. In quantifying impacts away from target areas, we demonstrate that soot injections larger than 5 Tg would lead to mass food shortages, and livestock and aquatic food production would be unable to compensate for reduced crop output, in almost all countries. Adaptation measures such as food waste reduction would have limited impact on increasing available calories. We estimate more than 2 billion people could die from nuclear war between India and Pakistan, and more than 5 billion could die from a war between the United States and Russia—underlining the importance of global cooperation in preventing nuclear war.

Main

Extraordinary events such as large volcanic eruptions or nuclear war could cause sudden global climate disruptions and affect food security. Global volcanic cooling caused by sulfuric acid aerosols in the stratosphere has resulted in severe famines and political instability, for example, after the 1783 Laki eruption in Iceland1 or the 1815 Tambora eruption in Indonesia2,3. For a nuclear war, the global cooling would depend on the yields of the weapons, the number of weapons and the targets, among other atmospheric and geographic factors. In a nuclear war, bombs targeted on cities and industrial areas would start firestorms, injecting large amounts of soot into the upper atmosphere, which would spread globally and rapidly cool the planet4,5,6. Such soot loadings would cause decadal disruptions in Earth’s climate7,8,9, which would impact food production systems on land and in the oceans…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Horrifying Drought Is Causing Widespread Crop Failures Throughout The United States And Europe

A Horrifying Drought Is Causing Widespread Crop Failures Throughout The United States And Europe

We really are reaching a major crisis point.  Thanks to soaring fertilizer prices, insane weather patterns and the war in Ukraine, global food supplies have been getting tighter and tighter.  So we really needed a banner year for agricultural production in both the United States and Europe in 2022, and that is not going to happen.  In fact, unprecedented drought is absolutely devastating crops all over the northern hemisphere.  A lot of people are complaining about how high food prices are right now, but just wait.  If some sort of a miracle doesn’t happen, agricultural production is going to be way below expectations in both the United States and Europe, and that is going to have very serious implications for 2023.

Let me start by talking about the nightmare that is starting to unfold in Europe.

According to CNN, it is now being projected that farmers in Italy have lost “up to 80% of their harvest” because the drought has become so severe…

In Italy, farmers in some parts of the country have lost up to 80% of their harvest this year due to severe weather anomalies, the Coldretti farming association said Thursday.

How are those farmers going to survive?

Many farmers in France are facing similar losses because they have only been receiving a fraction of the rainfall that they normally get…

In France, where an intense drought has hammered farmers and prompted widespread limits on freshwater use, there was just 9.7 millimetres (0.38 inches) of rain last month, Meteo France said.

That was 84 percent down on the average levels seen for July between 1991 and 2022, making it the driest month since March 1961, the agency added.

Crop failures in France would be a really, really big deal, because France is normally “the fourth-largest exporter of wheat” in the entire world…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We Should Aspire to be Peasants

We Should Aspire to be Peasants

Painting by Johann Ludwig Ernst Morgenstern – Public Domain

Rising food prices — as the USDA has forecast for 2022 — may seem like a good thing for farmers.

After all, who wouldn’t like to see some more cash? Farmers, like everyone else, have been through a lot lately. Years of stagnant or falling farm income in many ways paralleled the stagnant wages of so many Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves through our supply chain, crashing farm prices and disrupting markets.

But the story is not so simple.

Inputs – that’s where the problem lies. Whether it’s fertilizer, seed, machinery or fuel, farmers are having to pay more to grow our nation’s food. The war in Ukraine has led to fuel and fertilizer shortages, another component of the soaring input costs.

Clearly, corporations are also price gouging. With every aspect of agriculture being highly consolidated, it’s easy for companies to do as they wish, as just four firms control over 60% of our seed, another four determine what happens with 75% of fertilizer in the U.S., and still four others set the terms for over 75% of grain sales. Meanwhile, some corporations, instead of allowing farmers to repair their own machinery, require them to seek out pricey company-authorized technicians when things break down.

Corporate agribusiness controls the food system, racking up profits while farmers and consumers dance to their tune.

So, what’s the answer, who should we look to in times like these?

Peasants, that’s who. Peasants actually produce food for their families and communities, not commodities for the global economy.

Most American farmers probably think it laughable to see peasant farming as a model. American farmers are told that they feed the world, while peasants work small acreages and think in terms of food diversity and food sovereignty, not mono-cultures and global markets.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Let Them Eat Bugs

Let Them Eat Bugs

A study earlier this year from four prestigious institutions proclaimed that you should eat bugs and spiders.

And not only that. The study — conducted by BI Norwegian Business School (BI), Chuo University, Miyagi University and Oxford University — also said that the way to convince people to do this is to have celebrities do it on YouTube videos.

Like clockwork, they are suddenly everywhere. You are welcome to look them up. I personally find them revolting. As in they make me want to revolt.

These are the same folks who pushed for lockdowns, masking, jabs and a war with Russia. Now they say we have to get used to eating bugs because all the other policies they pushed have dramatically increased world hunger. Indeed, it is reaching a crisis point.

For many people, bug eating will soon be the only answer.

One Step Before Cannibalism

I’m going to take it as a given that the evolution of society selected against bug eating. It is not something people prefer over, for example, eating chicken, fish, beef and vegetables. I would further postulate that most people, in general, would not eat bugs unless they had to.

I’m sure there are many venerable bureaucrats at the UN who would dispute the above, but I don’t care.

There is a name for bug eating: entomophagy. Sounds fancy, but ultimately it means living as if there is a famine going on. It is one step before cannibalism and finally eating tree bark.

Sometimes it happens. We call those periods of history deeply tragic. It’s not what we want. The difference this time is that entomophagy is being pushed by top Hollywood influencers.

When it arrives, the famine will be celebrated on social media.

Food Is Already Scarce

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Food – are we facing a Crisis or an Opportunity?

Food – are we facing a Crisis or an Opportunity?

This post shares four things. The one that takes up the most space is about those two little words “food crisis” that are starting to make headlines. There’s a reason they’re making headlines, and it might not be the reason you think. 

The other items in this post are two tips for ethical buying/browsing choices, and a little piece of wisdom about the language we use. 

Ethical internet searching

Ecosia.org is an internet search engine (like Google) that plants trees (unlike Google).

Planting
Image by Rommel Diaz from Pixabay

They do a lot of other things unlike Google, too. In their words:

We dedicate all our profits to the regeneration of the planet. We even signed a legal contract binding us to our not-for-profit purpose forever. Ecosia can’t be sold … and we can’t take money out of the company.”

Also in their words:

“… if everyone switched from Google to Ecosia, we could plant 300 billion trees — every year.”

Google offers so many free tools in addition to its search engine that it’s hard to go past them for sheer convenience. That’s one of the reasons they’re so influential and powerful.

What might a company like Ecosia achieve in the next 10, the next 20, 30 years… if enough people supported them to enable them to start offering other services the same way Google did?

You can read their manifesto here.

Ethical undies

Do you wear socks or undies? Me too. And the other day I finally found a socks ‘n’ jocks company that I feel good about buying from. I was so excited, my kids rolled their eyes. What’s Mum on about now.

socks
Image by jerabkovamartina from Pixabay

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Rather Than Focus on What You Don’t Control (“The News”), Focus on What You Do Control: What You Grow, Eat and Own

Rather Than Focus on What You Don’t Control (“The News”), Focus on What You Do Control: What You Grow, Eat and Own

Now that globalization and financialization are finally unraveling, people are slowly awakening to the national security foundations of localizing production.

What exactly is “the news” other than an inducement to passivity, despair and derangement? Since we exert zero control over what happens in distant lands and global economies, why waste time passively consuming “if it bleeds it leads” offal designed to addict us to a steady stream of despair and derangement?

Why not ditch “the news” in favor of focusing on what we do control: what we grow, eat and own? It’s almost a binary choice: either focus on screens of addictive offal for hours every day or act on our own behalf in the real world.

Food inflation is highlighting the financial value of home gardens. Paul of the Silver Doctors and I discuss turning gardening savings into more ownership of something we control (for example, precious metals) in Save Money On Food, Get Free Gold & Silver, Beat Price Inflation (1:08 hrs).

I’ve been posting about the value of gardening for over a decade, describing the financial and health benefits. I Dig Dirt: The Remedy for Derealization (July 23, 2011)         The Hidden Value of Gardens (September 13, 2014)

Food inflation simply increases the gains: One Solution to Soaring Food Prices: Start Your 2022 Garden Now (November 6, 2021).

Municipalities can either encourage or hinder local food production. Cities once grew between a third and a half of their own food within city limits: Could Urban Gardens Supply 1/3 of a City’s Food? Yes. (March 13, 2010).

If we’re not allowed to grow food, that’s a problem that can be solved by local lobbying or moving to a place where there are fewer restrictions on growing our own food…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No Farmers, No Food, No Life

No Farmers, No Food, No Life

The world is now facing a man-made food catastrophe. It is reaching crisis levels.

Current policies in many parts of the world place a priority on climate change for realizing a green new deal. Meanwhile, such policies will contribute to children dying from severe malnutrition due to broken food systems, with shortages of food and water, stress, anxiety, fear, and dangerous chemical exposure.

More negative pressure on farmers and the food system is asking for a catastrophe. The immune system of many people, especially children, has lost its resilience and has weakened too far with high risks for intoxication, infections, non-communicable and infectious diseases, deaths and infertility.

Dutch farmers, of whom many will face a cost of living crisis after 2030, have drawn the line. They are supported by an increasing number of farmers and citizens worldwide.

It’s not the farmers who are the most heavy polluters of the environment, but industries who make the products needed for a technocracy revolution to green energy, data mining, and Artificial Intelligence. As more of the WEF plans are rolled out by politicians, inequalities grow, and conflicts are rising all over the world.

The strong farmers’ revolt in the Netherlands is a call for an urgent transition to a people-oriented, free and healthy world with nutritious food cultivated and harvested in respect to natural processes. The cooperation of ordinary people worldwide is on the rise to prevent a mass famine catastrophe caused by the plan of scientism and technocracy to rule and control the world by unelected scientists and elites.

Enough food, access to food is the problem

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UN, World Economic Forum Behind Global ‘War on Farmers’: Experts

UN, World Economic Forum Behind Global ‘War on Farmers’: Experts

They say ‘Agenda 2030’ development goals at root of sustainability policies that could lead to food shortages

The escalating regulatory attack on agricultural producers from Holland and the United States to Sri Lanka and beyond is closely tied to the United Nations’ “Agenda 2030” Sustainable Development Goals and the U.N.’s partners at the World Economic Forum (WEF), numerous experts told The Epoch Times.

Indeed, several of the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are directly implicated in policies that are squeezing farmers, ranchers, and food supplies around the world.

High-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members within the U.N. system helped create the SDGs and are currently helping lead the organization’s implementation of the global plan, The Epoch Times has previously documented.

If left unchecked, multiple experts said, the U.N.-backed sustainability policies on agriculture and food production would lead to economic devastation, shortages of critical goods, widespread famine, and a dramatic loss of individual freedoms.

Epoch Times Photo
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), is seen at the opening of the WEF Davos Agenda in Cologny, Switzerland, on Jan. 17, 2022. (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Already, millions of people worldwide are facing dangerous food shortages, and officials around the world say those are set to get worse as the year goes on.

There is an agenda behind it all, experts told The Epoch Times.

Even private land ownership is in the crosshairs, as global food production and the world economy are transformed to meet the global sustainability goals, U.N. documents reviewed by The Epoch Times show.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BASF Prepares To Slash Ammonia Production In Germany Amid Worsening NatGas Crunch

BASF Prepares To Slash Ammonia Production In Germany Amid Worsening NatGas Crunch

German chemicals company BASF SE paid an extra 800 million euros ($809.5 million) to keep its plants operating in the second quarter compared with a year earlier amid skyrocketing natural gas prices. The impact of high energy prices has forced the company to make a difficult decision: slash the production of ammonia, which could have potential consequences for farming to the food industry.

“We are reducing production at facilities that require large volumes of natural gas, such as ammonia plants,” BASF Chief Executive Martin Brudermuller said in a conference call after an earnings report. 

Brudermuller said BASF would tap external suppliers to fill the deficit as German plants reduced output. He warned about potential supply disruptions that could boost fertilizer costs for farmers.

Reuters details how ammonia plays a critical role in manufacturing nitrogen-based fertilizers, plastic-making, and diesel exhaust fluid. A byproduct of ammonia production is high-purity carbon dioxide (CO2) which is heavily used in the food industry.

The news of BASF reducing ammonia production because of soaring NatGas prices comes as Russian state-owned energy producer Gazprom PJSC is expected to halve supplies via Nord Stream 1 to Europe to about 20% today. EU member states agreed Tuesday to reduce NatGas demand by 15% over the next eight months, though countries like Germany, without any liquefied natural gas (LNG) port terminals to replace Russian pipeline NatGas, might have to make more considerable sacrifices.

Benchmark NatGas prices in Europe at the Dutch TTF hub hit their highest level since March. Prices have shot up 35% in a week, over 200 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh), as Putin turns the screws on Europe by reducing pipeline capacity to Europe.

“Chemical companies are the biggest industrial natural-gas users in Germany, and ammonia is the single most gas-intensive product within that industry,” Reuters said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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