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Farmers on the Brink

Farmers on the Brink

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

It was a spooky time to be out at sea off the US East Coast on Halloween in 1991. A strong storm system over the maritime provinces in Canada merged with the remnants of Hurricane Grace, forming a new, epic, and dangerous Nor’easter. The winds of this new storm breached 70 miles per hour and a wave as high as 100 feet was measured off the coast of Nova Scotia, but the storm was not renamed as either a tropical storm or a hurricane – instead, it is known only colloquially as simply the Perfect Storm. Six fishermen from Massachusetts perished when their vessel Andrea Gail sunk in open waters, and the story of the storm and of that tragedy became the subject of a best-selling book and a blockbuster feature film.

While the concept of a perfect storm is often too casually assigned in popular culture, it is difficult to find a more apt description of what has been unfolding in the global agriculture markets over these past several months. The tempest caused by the European energy disaster has merged with the hurricane of consequences flowing from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, forming the genesis of a generational crisis in food that will leave few unaffected. While we’ve been warning about just such a scenario for some time, after spending the past two weeks traveling across the US Midwest and conferring with our contacts in the agricultural sector, even we are a little spooked by what we’ve learned. In a financial crash, the correlation between all asset classes converges to one…

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

Food shortages as the energy crisis grows and supply chains break?

Food shortages as the energy crisis grows and supply chains break?

Preface. This is a long preface followed by two articles about how supply chains and complex tractors may be affected by energy shortages and consequent supply chain failures in the future.Which we’re already seeing as massive numbers of ships sit offshore waiting to be unloaded, and a shortage of truckers to deliver goods when they do arrive.

Supply chain failures will only get worse, affecting food supply and making the prediction of 3 billion more people by 2050 unlikely.  We are running out of time to replace fossil fuels with something else that is unknown and definitely not commercial for transportation, manufacturing and other essential services and products. Even the electric grid needs natural gas to stay up, no matter how many wind turbines or solar panels are built (Friedemann 2016).

The reason time is running out is that global conventional oil, where 90% of our petroleum comes from, peaked in 2008 (EIA 2018 page 45), and world oil production of both conventional and unconventional oil in 2018 (EIA 2020).

In the unlikely event you don’t know why this is scary, consider that we are alive today thanks to heavy-duty transportation, which runs almost exclusively on diesel, four billion of us are alive due to finite natural gas derived fertilizer, 500,000 products are made out of fossil fuels, and much of our essential manufacturing (cement, steel, metals, ceramics, glass, microchips) depend on the high heat of fossil fuels. There is not much time to come up with processes to electrify or use hydrogen to replace fossil fuels, which don’t exist yet, let alone rebuild trillions of dollars of infrastructure and a new unknown energy distribution system, triple the electric grid transmission system, and replace hundreds of millions of vehicles and equipment to run on “something else” (Friedemann 2021).

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

Product shortage at Okanagan grocery stores, due to highway closures

Product shortage at Okanagan grocery stores, due to highway closures

Save On Foods was without produce Tuesday morning

It’s been a busy two days at FreshCo in Kelowna.

Customers are stocking up on various products after access between the Lower Mainland and the rest of B.C. was cut off due to floods and mudslides.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 16, there is no detour available or estimated time of reopening the major routes into and out of the Lower Mainland.

This has caused concern for those living in the Okanagan, many of who rushed out to stock their own shelves before the stores ran out.

FreshCo franchise owner Greg Frederick said, it is a bit of a panic when you see people lining up, but luckily he felt his store was prepared.

“We are facing the same challenges as every other store in the area, but rest assured we are well prepared and if we have to draw product it is possible we can from another place, like Alberta, we can,” he said.

But over at the Orchard Plaza Save-On-Foods, for example, a sign posted on the entrance door advised residents that no new produce could be received at the store on Tuesday due to highway closures. Inside the store, produce shelves were virtually empty.

Aisle at the Vernon Superstore. (Jenny Smith/ Vernon Morning Star)

Aisle at the Vernon Superstore. (Jenny Smith/ Vernon Morning Star)

Save-On-Foods media relations department responded to the lack of product in stores saying, at this time, all shipments in and out of the Lower Mainland are on hold based on the current road conditions.

“We are exploring all avenues to get product to our stores as quickly as possible. We’re asking our customers to maintain normal shopping habits. This will help our team members keep the shelves full for everyone. We understand that these are uncertain times and many people just want to do what’s right for their families.”

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

Marti’s Corner – 37

Marti’s Corner – 37

*  Here is the email I got from USU Extension this week:


  • Meet with your family or household and discuss the disasters that are most likely to occur.
  • Review basic actions for each situation and decide on a family meeting place.
  • Decide how you’ll contact each other if separated.


  • Make an inventory of your home.
  • Show all family members where to shut off the utilities.
  • Assemble an emergency preparedness kit. Instructions can be found here.
  • Compile a list of emergency contacts.
  • Identify the best evacuation routes from the house.


  • Choose a regular time to practice your plan.
  • Conduct a practice run of evacuation routes, and evaluate any changes that need to be made.
  • Examine your emergency preparedness kit and replace items that have expired or are no longer viable.
  • Practice cooking a meal using electricity-free methods.

This list is not comprehensive, but it is a good place to begin. Check out more emergency preparedness tips here.

Milk - Powdered Milk

Milk is available from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints here:  Nonfat Dry Milk | United States Store.  You do NOT have to be a member of the church to purchase any of the food they offer.  Each pouch makes 32 servings.  12 pouches = $66.  Or about $11 per pouch.  $11 for 2 gallons of milk is NOT cheaper than fresh.  But the shelf life is listed at 20 years!  I checked with Emergency Essentials.  They have a #10 can for $19.99.  It makes about 36 servings (slightly more). That’s an $8 difference in the price PER POUCH!  Plus, I don’t think the Church charges shipping.  (I could be wrong about that).  You MUST buy by the case.

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

Before They Were An Inconvenience, But Now The Shortages Are Really Beginning To Sting

Before They Were An Inconvenience, But Now The Shortages Are Really Beginning To Sting

Have you noticed that store shelves are starting to get emptier and emptier?  During the panic shopping that was sparked by the start of the COVID pandemic in 2020, there were very intense shortages of certain items, but those shortages did not last very long at all.  But now there are widespread shortages in just about every sector of our economy, and they are starting to become quite painful.  Unfortunately, we are being told to expect the shortages to intensify as we head into the holiday season.  That is extremely alarming, because in many areas the shortages are already quite severe.

I had been away from the news for a couple of days, and when I came back there were lots more stories about our ongoing shortages.  For example, the following comes from an excellent piece by Matt Stoller

There are shortages in everything from ocean shipping containers to chlorine tablets to railroad capacity to black pipe (the piping that houses wires inside buildings) to spicy chicken breasts to specialized plastic bags necessary for making vaccines. Moreover, prices for all sorts of items, from housing to food, are changing in weird ways. Beef, for instance, is at near record highs for consumers, but cattle ranchers are getting paid much less than they used to for their cows.

In my entire life, I have never seen anything like this.

Even the Federal Reserve is admitting that we have a major problem at this point.  In fact, in the latest Beige Book the Fed referred to the shortages a whopping 80 times.

In certain parts of the country, these shortages are really beginning to sting.  A reader just emailed me about what is going on in his section of Connecticut, and he said that I could share this with all of you…

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

“Quite Alarming” – UK Energy Crisis Sparks Fresh Chaos For Food Suppliers

“Quite Alarming” – UK Energy Crisis Sparks Fresh Chaos For Food Suppliers

Last week Fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings Inc suspended operations at two UK plants because of soaring natural gas prices. As a result, these fertilizer plants that make carbon dioxide as a byproduct are in sudden shortages and are rippling through the UK food sector, according to Bloomberg.

The shortage of carbon dioxide has forced Online grocer Ocado Group Plc to halt all deliveries of frozen products to customers, and the meat industry warned slaughterhouse operations could “grind to a halt” in weeks.

The British Meat Processors Association warned carbon dioxide supplies could be exhausted by the end of the month, forcing slaughterhouses to close and result in a mass culling of animals.

Last Friday, Ocado halted deliveries of frozen food to customers because of the dry ice shortage.

“It’s quite alarming,” said Nick Allen, head of the meat association. “We’re talking between days and weeks from this really hitting hard, unless somewhere in the world — ideally here in Europe — there are supplies of this that can replace that amount of CO2 very quickly.”

The ripple effect continues as British Soft Drinks Association monitors the carbon dioxide situation as the industry could go flat.

Besides CF Industries, Norwegian fertilizer maker Yara said it would soon reduce ammonia output capacity by 40% because of record-high natural gas prices.

The broader impact could be soaring food and energy inflation across the UK, threatening the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery and financially strain consumers.

UK Supermarket Boss Says Shortages at Worst Level He Has Seen

UK Supermarket Boss Says Shortages at Worst Level He Has Seen

A leading supermarket boss has warned that current UK food shortages are at a “worse level” than he has ever seen.

The food supply chain has been disrupted by a lack of lorry drivers and by a shortage of labour in general.

Steve Murrells, chief executive of the Co-operative Group, told The Times that they had significantly reduced the range of some products. He blamed Brexit and pandemic-related fallout for the shortages.

There’s currently a shortfall of around 90,000 drivers, according to David Wells, chief executive of Logistics UK.

The boss of frozen food retailer Iceland, Richard Walker, told the BBC that unless the problems are resolved now, it could affect the availability of Christmas supplies.

“The driver shortage is impacting the food supply chain on a daily basis and leading to shortages on the shelves,” Walker said. “We’ve had deliveries cancelled for the first time since the pandemic began, about 30 to 40 deliveries a day.”

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) said on Aug. 22 that supplies of Christmas favourites like pigs-in-blankets could be affected.

Industry groups say that training for new drivers is taking months, with a backlog of 40,000 missed heavy goods vehicle (HGV) tests.

Walker said the solution is to add HGV drivers to the skilled workers’ list, which would allow them to be recruited from overseas.

He said supply chain problems were a “self-inflicted wound,” from the handling of Brexit, “caused by the government’s failure to appreciate the importance of HGV drivers and the work they do for us.”

Retailers are starting to offer incentives to bring in drivers. Tesco has been offering lorry drivers a £1,000 ($1,370) joining bonus.

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

‘Preppers’ Quietly Stock Up for the ‘Perfect Storm’

‘Preppers’ Quietly Stock Up for the ‘Perfect Storm’

A crippling ice storm that left Travis Maddox and thousands of other Missouri residents without power in 2007 had an “almost apocalyptic feel to it.”

“No one could move. It just shut the whole region down for two weeks. I wasn’t as prepared as I thought,” said Maddox, a burly man of 43, sporting a long black beard, T-shirt, cargo pants, and baseball cap, while tending his garden.

Those two weeks made Maddox realize that being prepared—“prepping,” as it’s called today—was the key to a life of self-reliance and personal freedom.

As an Eagle Scout, he never forgot the Boy Scout motto: Be prepared.

“To me, the ultimate level of prepping is being self-sufficient. You’re still being modern, but you’re in control,” Maddox told The Epoch Times on Aug. 5.

In 2009, Maddox launched his YouTube channel, “The Prepared Homestead,” which now has over 32,000 subscribers.

People, he said, are waking up to the worsening reality of supply chain disruptions and food shortages, and rapid political and social changes that all point toward “a perfect storm” just ahead.

The COVID-19 lockdowns and empty store shelves only served to heighten popular sentiment that the “old normal” is gone, he said.

“When the pandemic struck, we started seeing all this panic buying,” Maddox said. “What’s really increased is the number of people that contact me. These are really personal emails. They’re not crazy extremists. These are single moms, elderly people, disabled people, regular working people. They’re realizing that things are changing. They can just feel things are changing rapidly,” he said.

“The riots [of 2020] were bad. The election was bad. Now what’s happening is the whole world is starting to change.”

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

World’s Food Supplies In Jeopardy Amid Climate Disasters

World’s Food Supplies In Jeopardy Amid Climate Disasters

Devastating floods in Germany, China, Turkey, and India. Scorching hot weather in the Western U.S. and Canada. Worst frost in two decades across Brazil. These recent weather phenomena are rapidly intensifying and threaten further food inflation already at decade highs.

We documented last week Brazil had some of the worst frost conditions in two decades. Temperatures dropped below zero and delivered a massive blow to farmers across the country’s coffee belt. The result has been sky-high coffee prices.

Back-to-back heatwaves continue to scorch the Earth across the Western half of the U.S. The corn belt, which spans the Midwest, lacks rainfall, and hot weather could negatively impact crop development, leading to an underwhelming harvest.

In Europe, China, Turkey, and India, devastating floods have torn apart towns, damaged farmland, and killed hundreds of people. Torrential rains have the risk of sparking fungal diseases for grain crops.

“All of these events are touched by jet streams, strong and narrow bands of westerly winds blowing above the Earth’s surface. The currents are generated when cold air from the poles clashes against hot air from the tropics, creating storms and other phenomena such as rain and drought,” Bloomberg said.

“Jet streams are the weather—they create it, and they steer it,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center. “Sometimes the jet stream takes on a very convoluted pattern. When we see it taking big swings north and big dips southward, we know we’re going to see some unusual weather conditions.”

Source: Bloomberg 

Meteorologists worry whenever those swings and dips form omega-shaped curves that look like waves. When that happens, warm air travels further north and cold air penetrates further south…

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

What To Expect Next in the Coming Food Shortage

What To Expect Next in the Coming Food Shortage

 “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” – Thomas Jefferson.

It used to be that when a drought, flood, or frost occurred, we could see clearly the shortages that it would create. As a result, prices went up proportional to the scarcity.  We were also able to pivot our cooking to accommodate the shortage of one item and replace it with another thing.  We also used to be a lot closer to the individual farms from where our food came. However, corporate farming, record-breaking droughts and heatwaves in some places and floods and cold in others, lack of agricultural diversity, and supply chain disruptions and economics have created a complex house of cards that’s teetering. They could collapse in small ways in the next few months and much larger and more dangerous ways over the next year or two.

It’s hard to believe that a food shortage may be on the horizon when you visit your local grocery store and see well-stocked shelves.  It may be hard to see the actual food shortages and food collapses when it’s easier to simply dismiss the economics as general inflation and package shrinkage. Still, real food scarcities are looming on the horizon.  These scarcities will last into the foreseeable future and will affect you in many ways.  In this video, we will examine some of the reasons for the food shortages, what you can expect to see in the immediate future, explore the anatomy of a shortage, and I will leave you with a plan you can implement today to stay ahead of the shortages.  If you act today, you can ensure that food remains on your table when the store shelves are barren.  Let’s jump in…

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

The Next 6 Months: What To Expect

The Next 6 Months: What To Expect

The price of corn is up thirty-two percent in the first quarter of this year.  Beef is up seventeen percent.  The price of chicken is up twenty-five percent in just the last two months.  You have probably noticed the price of gasoline up forty-one percent as well.  Still, you may not have yet seen that the cost of a metric ton of olive oil is up one-hundred-eighty-two percent since the start of this year.  That hasn’t yet trickled down to your grocery store shelves, but it will.

So, what’s going on?  Gasoline is actually in a surplus.  There are mostly enough cows and chickens.  There hasn’t been a collapse in olive orchards.  Shortages aren’t always tied to singular events, but distinct events can lead to shortages for consumers.  When we think of shortages we tend to only think of them as the unavailability of a product because it isn’t available anywhere.  It used to be that when the potato got blight, or the drought wiped out crops, that was it.  None of that crop was available to anyone.  But shortages have become very complex over the years as a global supply chain has sprung up.  Sometimes there’s a shortage of a crop, but on a dock, somewhere, tons of it are rotting away.

This blog will examine some of the shortages looming on the horizon and what you can do about them.  From crops to pharmaceuticals to fuel, this year is shaping up to be the year of shortages.  Let’s take a look…


Recent research sponsored by the global credit ratings agency Moody’s concluded: “that by the end of the century, parts of the US and Europe are now bound to experience severe reductions in rainfall equivalent to the American ‘dust bowl’ of the 1930s, which devastated Midwest farming for a decade.”…

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

UK: Food Shortages ‘Inevitable’ – “The real food crisis for food supplies starts now.”

Industry experts are warning that food shortages are “inevitable” in the UK as crops rot without reaching retail. Imports of beef from the EU are to be cut 85% under Brexit, leaving Brits asking “Where’s the beef?” and seeing absurdly high prices. What’s more — the mainstream media is acknowledging the food shortages ahead, which means we are truly entering the “Problem/Reaction” stage of the dialectic intended to herd people into accepting the “Solution” of the fake food from the technocrats. The UK may be ahead of the curve here, but this is going global — watch this video to find out why.

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Prepare for Planned Starvation

Prepare for Planned Starvation

Next on the List of American Catastrophes? A Western Megadrought

Next on the List of American Catastrophes? A Western Megadrought

I’ve written many articles for The Organic Prepper about the coming food shortages. Not just in the United States but all across the world. Food isn’t the only thing that is soon going to be in short supply.

Fresh, clean water appears to be one of the prime shortages facing humanity today. And this problem is only going to get worse in the future. The American West is facing a water crisis not seen since the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl days. Ironic, since we’re also seeing a lot of similarities to the Great Depression, too.

This past year saw drought in the American West deepen

According to research published in the Journal Science, portions of the United States entered the beginning stages of megadrought. From the Columbia University site:

All told, the researchers say that rising temperatures are responsible for about half the pace and severity of the current drought. If this overall warming were subtracted from the equation, the current drought would rank as the 11th worst detected — bad, but nowhere near what it has developed into.

“It doesn’t matter if this is exactly the worst drought ever,” said coauthor Benjamin Cook, who is affiliated with Lamont and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “What matters is that it has been made much worse than it would have been because of climate change.” Since temperatures are projected to keep rising, it is likely the drought will continue for the foreseeable future; or fade briefly only to return, say the researchers.

“Because the background is getting warmer, the dice are increasingly loaded toward longer and more severe droughts,” said Williams. “We may get lucky, and natural variability will bring more precipitation for a while…

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

Food Crisis of 2021 in Europe

We are staring in the face of a serious food crisis in Europe as food prices rise continuously, and with further draconian COVID measures within the EU, they are bringing the food supply chains to a standstill. Our models have been warned that this 8.6-year cyclical wave into 2024 will be one of commodity inflation due to SHORTAGES rather than speculative demand. All the indications that the world is heading for a serious food price crisis are in play. The Food Price Index (FFPI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) averaged 107.5 points in December 2020, an increase of 2.3 points (2.2%) compared to November 2020, which represents an increase for the seventh consecutive month.

With the exception of sugar, all sub-indices of the FFPI recorded slight gains in December, with the sub-index for vegetable oil again rising the most, followed by that for dairy products, meat, and cereals. For 2020 as a whole, the FFPI averaged 97.9 points, a three-year high, 2.9 points (3.1%) higher than in 2019, but still well below its 2011 high of 131.9 points. It is also interesting that the FFPI in 2002 was still 53.1 points. It only increased significantly from the financial crisis of 2007/08, only to then level off in the 90-point range. Since May 2020 it has increased by 18%.

Our models project that the upward trend in the FFPI will intensify going into 2024. With the coronavirus mutating, as we warned ALL viruses do, as such, we have these various strains from Africa, Brazil, UK, and even California, are inspiring politicians to use this as an opportunity to restrict the population even further. These corona measures have extended to the food supply chains, disrupting them just as we see in electronics…

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

armstrong economics, food, food crisis, europe, martin armstrong, food price inflation, food shortages, supply chains,

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