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Impending Food Crisis

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January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
September 11, 2017, 03:40:40 am Christian40 says: those in america should better repent or things will only get worse
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Author Topic: Impending Food Crisis  (Read 1092 times)
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« on: May 10, 2011, 10:53:11 am »

Clinton Warns of Impending Food Crisis

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is warning that unless something is done to hold down rising global food prices, the consequences will be "grave."

Clinton told those at a meeting of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization that the combination of food shortages and rising prices could cause widespread unrest like that seen in 2007 and 2008.

"We must act now, effectively and cooperatively, to blunt the negative impact of rising food prices and protect people and communities," she said at the FAO's headquarters in Rome.

During the 2008 food crisis, the world's biggest rice producers -- Thailand, Vietnam, and India -- cut rice exports to protect domestic supply, leading to record high prices. Riots in dozens of countries took place as a result.

The United Nations estimates 44 million people have been pushed into poverty since last June because of rising food prices.

Clinton urged countries to share food production information, limit export taxes, and resist the temptation to impose export bans "no matter how attractive they may appear to be."

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/world/2011/May/Clinton-Warns-of-Impending-Food-Crisis/
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 08:20:04 am »

Price of Ground Beef Hits All-Time High

The average price for a pound of ground beef hit its all-time in the United States in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 
In January 1980, when BLS started tracking the average price of 100-percent beef  ground chuck, a pound cost $1.82. By this November, the same pound of ground beef cost $3.61 per pound. That was up from $3.49 per pound in October.

A decade ago, in November 2003, a pound of ground chuck cost $2.49. Since then, the price has gone up 45 percent.

Despite the increase in the average cost of ground beef, the Consumer Price Index remained unchanged in November, according to BLS.

“On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers was unchanged in November after decreasing 0.1 percent in October. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in November after increasing 0.1 percent in October,” the BLS states.

“The food index rose slightly in November, with the food at home index unchanged,” said the BLS. (See CPI, Nov. 2013.pdf)

The BLS calculates an overall food index of food prices and also a food at home index and a food away from home index. Ground chuck beef is included in both the "food index" and "food at home" index, according to the BLS.

- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/price-ground-beef-hits-all-time-high#sthash.lOySshr6.dpuf
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2014, 06:34:35 am »

U.S. Cattle Herd Is At A 61 Year Low And Organic Food Shortages Are Being Reported All Over America

If the extreme drought in the western half of the country keeps going, the food supply problems that we are experiencing right now are only going to be the tip of the iceberg.  As you will see below, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has dropped to a 61 year low, and organic food shortages are being reported all over the nation.  Surprisingly cold weather and increasing demand for organic food have both been a factor, but the biggest threat to the U.S. food supply is the extraordinary drought which has had a relentless grip on the western half of the country.  If you check out the U.S. Drought Monitor, you can see that drought conditions currently stretch from California all the way to the heart of Texas.  In fact, the worst drought in the history of the state of California is happening right now.  And considering the fact that the rest of the nation is extremely dependent on produce grown in California and cattle raised in the western half of the U.S., this should be of great concern to all of us.

A local Fox News report that was featured on the Drudge Report entitled "Organic food shortage hits US" has gotten quite a bit of attention. The following is an excerpt from that article...

    Since Christmas, cucumbers supplies from Florida have almost ground to a halt and the Mexican supply is coming but it's just not ready yet.

    And as the basic theory of economics goes, less supply drives up prices.

    Take organic berries for example:

    There was a strawberry shortage a couple weeks back and prices spiked.

    Experts say the primary reasons for the shortages are weather and demand.

And without a doubt, demand for organic food has grown sharply in recent years.  More Americans than ever have become aware of how the modern American diet is slowly killing all of us, and they are seeking out alternatives.

Due to the tightness in supply and the increasing demand, prices for organic produce just continue to go up.  Just consider the following example...

    A quick check on the organic tree fruit market shows that the average price per carton for organic apples was $38 per carton in mid-January this year, up from an average of just $31 per carton last year at the same time. At least for apple marketers, the organic market is heating up.

Personally, I went to a local supermarket the other day and I started to reach for a package of organic strawberries but I stopped when I saw that they were priced at $6.99.  I couldn't justify paying 7 bucks for one package.  I still remember getting them on sale for $2.99 last year.

Unfortunately, this may only be just the beginning of the price increases.  California Governor Jerry Brown has just declared a water emergency, and reservoirs throughout the state have dropped to dangerously low levels.

Unless a miracle happens, there is simply not going to be enough water to go around for the entire agriculture industry.  The following is an excerpt from an email from an industry insider that researcher Ray Gano recently shared on his website...

    Harris farms has released a statement saying they will leave about 40,000 acres fallow this year because the FEDS have decided to only deliver 10% of the water allocation for 2014. Lettuce is predicted to reach around $5.00 a head (if you can find it). Understand the farmers in the Salinas valley are considering the same action. So much for salad this summer unless you grow it yourself.

The reason why the agriculture industry in California is so important is because it literally feeds the rest of the nation.  I shared the following statistics yesterday, but they are so critical that they bear repeating.  As you can see, without the fruits and vegetables that California grows, we would be in for a world of hurt...

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better.

Are you starting to understand how much trouble we could be in if this drought does not end?

About now I can hear some people out there saying that they will just eat meat because they don't like vegetables anyway.

Well, unfortunately we are rapidly approaching a beef shortage as well.

On January 1st, the U.S. cattle herd hit a 61-year low of 89.3 million head of cattle.

The biggest reason for this is the 5 year drought that has absolutely crippled the cattle industry out west...

    Back in the late fall 2013 there was a freak snowstorm that killed close to 300,000+ cattle. This is a major hit to the cattle market.

    I know in Texas where they still have a 5 year drought they are dealing with, they are having to ship grass bails in from Colorado, Utah and other parts of the country just to feed the cattle. Ranchers are sending their female cattle to the slaughter houses becasue they can not afford to feed them anymore. It is the females that help re-stock the herd. SO if you are slaughtering your females, your herd does not grow. It is expected that the US will not see cattle herd growth returning until 2017, maybe even later.

This is a problem which is not going away any time soon.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. cattle herd has gotten smaller for six years in a row, and the amount of beef produced is expected to drop to a 20 year low in 2014...

    The U.S. cattle herd contracted for six straight years to the smallest since 1952, government data show. A record drought in 2011 destroyed pastures in Texas, the top producing state, followed the next year by a surge in feed-grain prices during the worst Midwest dry spell since the 1930s. Fewer cattle will mean production in the $85 billion beef industry drops to a 20- year low in 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

It would be hard to overstate how devastating this ongoing drought has been for many ranchers out west.  For example, one 64-year-old rancher who lives in Texas says that his herd is 90 percent smaller than it was back in 2005 because of the drought...

    Texas rancher Looney, who is 64 and has been in the cattle business his whole life, said his herd is still about 90 percent below its size from 2005 because of the prolonged dry weather. It will take years for the pastures to come back, even if there is normal rainfall, he said. About 44 percent of Texas was in still in drought in the week ended Jan. 7, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And it isn't just the U.S. that is dealing with this kind of drought.  The largest freshwater lake in China that was once about twice the size of London, England has almost entirely dried up because of the ongoing drought over there.

Meanwhile, global demand for food just continues to rise.

If this drought ends and the western half of the nation starts getting lots of rain, this could just be a temporary crisis.

However, the truth is that scientific research has shown that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and that we should expect things to return to "normal" at some point.

So is that happening now?

Over the past couple of years, I have warned that Dust Bowl conditions are starting to return to the western half of the United States.  Just see this article, this article and this article.

Now the state of California is experiencing the worst drought that it has ever gone through and "apocalyptic" dust storms are being reported in Colorado and Nevada.

Just because things seem like they have always been a certain way does not mean that they will always stay that way.

Things out west are rapidly changing, and in the end it is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child in the United States.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/u-s-cattle-herd-is-at-a-61-year-low-and-organic-food-shortages-are-being-reported-all-over-america
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 12:51:57 pm »

Soaring Food Prices:Compare Cost Increases

You're paying as much as 69% more over the past two years for common kitchen staples, like eggs, bread, milk, chicken and more. Take a look at over 20 items to see how much prices have risen over 24 months.(Figures are based on the U.S. city average as of Jun. 30, 2008, from the Department of Labor's CPI.)

White Bread
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.08
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.37

Increase: 26.9%

(All figures rounded up.)

Fresh Whole Milk
Fortified, Per Gal.

Jun. 2006 Price: $3.00
Jun. 2008 Price: $3.77

Increase: 25.7%

A Dozen Eggs
Grade A, Large

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.24
Jun. 2008 Price: $1.92

Increase: 54.8%

All-Purpose Flour
White, Per Lb.

Jun. 2006 Price: $0.34
Jun. 2008 Price: $0.53

Increase: 55.9%

Peanut Butter
Creamy, Per Lb.

Jun. 2006 Price: $1.73
Jun. 2008 Price: $2.04

Increase: 17.9%

American Processed Cheese
Per Pound

Jun. 2006 Price: $3.53
Jun. 2008 Price: $3.93

Increase:11.3%


REST: http://www.dailyfinance.com/photos/soaring-food-prices/?photo=2#!slide=985302
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2014, 09:44:16 am »

Bananageddon: Millions face hunger as deadly fungus Panama disease decimates global banana crop

Scientists have warned that the world’s banana crop, worth £26 billion and a crucial part of the diet of more than 400 million people, is facing “disaster” from virulent diseases immune to pesticides or other forms of control.

Alarm at the most potent threat – a fungus known as Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) – has risen dramatically after it was announced in recent weeks that it has jumped from South-east Asia, where it has already devastated export crops, to Mozambique and Jordan.

A United Nations agency told The Independent that the spread of TR4 represents an “expanded threat to global banana production”. Experts said there is a risk that the fungus, for which there is currently no effective treatment, has also already made the leap to the world’s most important banana growing areas in Latin America, where the disease threatens to destroy vast plantations of the Cavendish variety. The variety accounts for 95 per cent of the bananas shipped to export markets including the United Kingdom, in a trade worth £5.4bn.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will warn in the coming days that the presence of TR4 in the Middle East and Africa means “virtually all export banana plantations” are vulnerable unless its spread can be stopped and new resistant strains developed.

In a briefing document obtained by The Independent, the FAO warns: “In view of the challenges associated with control of the disease and the risk posed to the global banana supply, it is evident that a concerted effort is required from industry, research institutions, government and international organisations to prevent spread of the disease.”

rest: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/bananageddon-millions-face-hunger-as-deadly-fungus-decimates-global-banana-crop-9239464.html
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 06:22:46 am »

Attention Shoppers: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Are Rising



Grocery shoppers may soon need more green in their wallets to afford their next salad.

The cost of fresh produce is poised to jump in the coming months as a three-year drought in California shows few signs of abating, according to an Arizona State University study set to be released Wednesday.

The study found a head of lettuce could increase in price as much as 62 cents to $2.44; avocado prices could rise 35 cents to $1.60 each; and tomatoes could cost 45 cents more at $2.84 per pound. (The run-up in produce prices is in line with other projections showing that overall food cost gains are expected to accelerate this year.)

The latest projections were compiled by Timothy Richards, an agribusiness professor at ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business. He studied the drought’s effect on farmland and consumer purchasing trends to determine the eight fresh fruits and vegetables likely to see the largest price increases this spring and summer.

And the price increases may already be happening. Grocery prices rose by 0.5% for the second-straight month in March, according to the Labor Department’s consumer-price index, released Tuesday. It was the largest two-month gain in the food-at-home category since 2011. Fruit and vegetable prices rose 0.9% last month, after a 1.1% gain in February. Meat and dairy prices are also increasing. Meanwhile, overall consumer prices rose just 0.2% last month, as broader inflation in the economy remains tepid.

California is the largest domestic producer of each of the products Mr. Richards identified, ranging from grapes to peppers. And in the case of avocados, it’s the only state with a significant crop.

The drought has wiped out between 10% and 20% of California crops for the eight items, but the size of the expected price increases varies widely. Lettuce prices could jump as much as 34% and avocado prices could rise 28%, the largest projected increases.

“People are the least price-sensitive when it comes to those items, and they’re willing to pay what it takes to get them,” Mr. Richards said. “It’s hard to make a salad without lettuce.”

In basic economic terms, the drought reduces supply, which puts upward pressure on prices. But how high the price can rise is determined by consumers’ willingness to pay more against their ability to find a substitute.

Packaged salads, for example, would increase in price by only 13%, even though many of the ingredients in them are projected to increase in cost by a greater percentage. That’s because consumers view premade salads as a “luxury” good and would readily switch to lower-cost alternative if the price gets too high, Mr. Richards said. They could chop the lettuce themselves or buy frozen vegetables.

The impact could spread beyond the produce aisle. Items such as lettuce, tomatoes and peppers are commonly used in deli sandwiches and salsas, among other products.  The drought could also cause those items to cost more.

Still, the run-up in prices is likely to be somewhat temporary, Mr. Richards said. When prices increase, farmers outside of California, including foreign suppliers, will be incentivized to ship more crops to the U.S. That will in turn put downward pressure on costs.

But with water-supply problems expected to persist for years, California farmers will have some difficult choices to make, he said. They’ll need to determine which crops should receive the limited amount of available water, and which should be allowed to fall away.

“We could be looking at future,” he said, “where California is no longer bread basket for the country.”

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/04/15/attention-shoppers-fruit-and-vegetable-prices-rising/?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsFifth
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 06:37:35 am »

Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future

Drought Monitor April 1The average price of USDA choice-grade beef has soared to $5.28 a pound, and the average price of a pound of bacon has skyrocketed to $5.46.  Unfortunately for those that like to eat meat, this is just the beginning of the price increases.  Due to an absolutely crippling drought that won’t let go of the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.  But back in 1951, we had less than half the number of mouths to feed.  And a devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the United States before has already killed up to 6 million pigs in this country and continues to spread like wildfire.  What all of this means is that the supply of meat is going to be tight for the foreseeable future even as demand for meat continues to go up.  This is going to result in much higher prices, and so food is going to put a much larger dent in American family budgets in the months and years to come.

(Read More.....) http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/why-meat-prices-are-going-to-continue-soaring-for-the-foreseeable-future
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 01:56:32 pm »

Bacon, Pork Prices Rise As Deadly Diarrhea Virus Wipes Out Michigan Pigs

Love your bacon, ham and baby-back ribs? Get used to forking over more dough for your pork.
 
A virus that kills piglets at an alarming rate has been found on 93 farms in Michigan, according to the state agriculture department.
 
Sam Hines, executive vice president of the Michigan Pork Producers Association, said porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is not a human health concern, but is deadly to newborn pigs.
 
“This is not a food safety issue,” Hines told WWJ’s Marie Osborne. “Most hogs do acquire the virus but bigger animals can recover from it. Pigs that are less than a month old will have such a severe diarrhea that they dehydrate. There’s nearly 100 percent mortality with pigs less than three-weeks of age.”
 
Scientists think PED came from China, but they don’t know how it got into the U.S. or spread to more than half the country’s states since last spring. The federal government is looking into how such viruses might spread, while the pork industry has committed $1.7 million to research the virus.
 
Estimates of how many pigs have died vary. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation’s pig herd by 3 percent to about 63 million pigs. The virus thrives in cold weather, so the death toll in the U.S. has soared since December.
 
Hines said there’s currently no cure for PED, and scientists say it will probably get worse before we see any improvement.
 
“The researchers that are working on this tell us that this is one of the most infectious viruses that they’ve ever encountered,” he said.
 
Jennifer Holton, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said PED isn’t a disease farmers are required to report, but as of last week, agriculture officials knew of 93 farms in Michigan affected by it.
 
The effects of the virus already have driven up the price of pork, especially bacon.
 
“U.S. production is going to decline this year about seven percent and that will probably translate into 10 to 20 percent higher prices for pork,” Hines said.
 
PED has been found in 26 states outside of Michigan, where pork production pulls in a half-billion dollars a year.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/04/16/bacon-pork-prices-rise-as-diarrhea-virus-wipes-out-michigan-pigs/
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 01:57:12 pm »

Soaring Food Inflation Full Frontal: Beef, Pork And Shrimp Prices Soar To Record Highs

We previously noted that both beef and pork (courtesy of the affectionately named Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus) prices have been reaching new all time highs on an almost daily basis. It is time to update the chart. Below we show what a world in which the Fed is constantly lamenting the lack of inflation looks like for beef prices...

rst: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-15/soaring-food-inflation-full-frontal-beef-and-shrimp-prices-explode
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 04:35:58 am »

US orange production hit by disease, juice prices soar

 A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida's orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.

The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon.

"It feels we are losing the fight," said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales.

The deadly bacteria has slashed his annual production over the past few years from one million boxes of fruit to 750,000.

Citrus greening disease has become such a problem this year that the US government has lowered its forecast for the upcoming harvest four times.

The latest figures, published earlier this month by the US Department of Agriculture, predict production of 110 million boxes of fruit, or roughly 4.95 million tons.

That is 18 percent less than last year, and the lowest since 1985, when citrus groves were hit by a deep freeze. It is also far from the record 244 million boxes collected in 1998.

The outlook surprised investors, as the USDA forecast dip was "bigger than the trade had anticipated," according to Joe Nikruto, senior market strategist for RJO Futures.

Following the release of the latest USDA figures, the price of frozen concentrated orange juice rose to its highest point on the Intercontinental Exchange in New York since late March 2012.

Juice for May delivery, the most traded, rose seven percent in three trading sessions to $1.67 a pound.

The price has also been driven by drought in Brazil, the world's top producer of orange juice, but Nikruto explained: "The USDA numbers are fueling this fire."

- Putting juice back on breakfast table -

On his Florida farm, Hunt is fighting the good fight but all the insecticide, fertilizer and extra minerals in the world don't seem to be helping.

"We spray at least every four weeks... but we are not keeping pace with the spread," he said.

Some small growers have practically abandoned their trees, as the rise in prices will not make up for their production shortfalls.

Authorities are scrambling to help the citrus industry -- which generates $9 billion a year in Florida alone and employs 76,000 people -- stay afloat.

Millions of dollars have been poured into research on ways to battle citrus greening disease.

Of course, experts are bearing in mind that spreading bacteria-fighting chemicals on 70 million trees across 530,000 acres would be no easy task.

"We will witness replanting and increases in production within the next three to five years," said Daniel Sleep, an official in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

"With the vast array of resources that have been committed, no other outcome seems possible."

But once the immediate crisis is averted, another problem looms: how to convince American consumers to put orange juice back on their breakfast tables.

The United States remains by far the world's top consumer of the drink, but that consumption has dropped by 30 percent since 2003.

Why? Grocery store shelves are loaded with other beverage options, including diet sodas and flavored waters with lower calorie counts for weight-conscious Americans.

"Juice is often associated with breakfast and as our society changes, we rush ourselves a little bit and we have a tendency to skip it," Sleep noted.

The juice-breakfast link is however helping to keep prices from going up too much, Nikruto says, as it is difficult to "charge more for a product that people are demanding less every day."

http://news.yahoo.com/us-orange-production-hit-disease-juice-prices-soar-041824793.html;_ylt=AwrBJSANr1BT3iIA.x7QtDMD
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2014, 05:54:56 am »

Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?

Do you think that the price of food is high now?  Just wait.  If current trends continue, many of the most common food items that Americans buy will cost more than twice as much by the end of this decade.  Global demand for food continues to rise steadily as crippling droughts ravage key agricultural regions all over the planet.  You see, it isn't just the multi-year California drought that is affecting food prices.  Down in Brazil (one of the leading exporters of food in the world), the drought has gotten so bad that 142 cities were rationing water at one point earlier this year.  And outbreaks of disease are also having a significant impact on our food supply.  A devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the U.S. before has already killed up to 6 million pigs.  Even if nothing else bad happens (and that is a very questionable assumption to make), our food prices are going to be moving aggressively upward for the foreseeable future.  But what if something does happen?  In recent years, global food reserves have dipped to extremely low levels, and a single major global event (war, pandemic, terror attack, planetary natural disaster, etc.) could create an unprecedented global food crisis very rapidly.

A professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University named Timothy Richards has calculated what the drought in California is going to do to produce prices at our supermarkets in the near future.  His projections are quite sobering...

    Avocados likely to go up 17  to 35 cents to as much as $1.60 each.
    Berries likely to rise 21 to 43 cents to as much as $3.46 per clamshell container.
    Broccoli likely to go up 20 to 40 cents to a possible $2.18 per pound.
    Grapes likely to rise 26 to 50 cents to a possible $2.93 per pound.
    Lettuce likely to rise 31 to 62 cents to as much as $2.44 per head.
    Packaged salad likely to go up 17 to 34 cents to a possible $3.03 per bag.
    Peppers likely to go up 18 to 35 cents to a possible $2.48 per pound.
    Tomatoes likely to rise 22 to 45 cents to a possible $2.84 per pound.

So what happens if the drought does not end any time soon?

Scientist Lynn Ingram, who has studied the climate history of the state of California extensively, told CBS News that we could potentially be facing "a century-long megadrought" in California.  If that does indeed turn out to be the case, we could be facing huge price increases for produce year after year.

And it isn't just crops that are grown in the United States that we need to be concerned about.  As NBC News recently reported, the price of cocoa is absolutely soaring and that is going to mean much higher prices for chocolate...

    As cocoa prices surge to near-record highs on demand for emerging markets, chocoholics brace for a hike in price – and maybe even a different taste, as chocolate makers hunt out cheaper ingredients.

    Cocoa futures are up 10 percent so far this year, hitting almost £1,900 on ($3,195) a ton in March. Last year prices rose 20 percent.

In fact, experts are now warning that chocolate may soon become a "high-end luxury item" because it is becoming so expensive.

Meat prices are also starting to spiral out of control.

A virus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea has pushed pork prices up to new all-time record highs.  It has already spread to 27 states, and as I mentioned above, it has already killed up to 6 million pigs.  It is being projected that U.S. pork production will decline by about 7 percent this year as a result, and Americans could end up paying up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of the year.

The price of beef has also soared to a brand new all-time record high.  Due to the drought that never seems to let up in the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.

If the overall price of food in this country increases by just an average of a little more than 12 percent a year, it will double by the end of this decade.

What would you do if you suddenly walked into the grocery store and everything was twice as much?

That is a frightening thing to think about.

Meanwhile, all of our other bills just keep going up as well.  For example, we just learned that the price of electricity hit a brand new all-time record high for the month of March.

If our incomes were keeping up with all of these price increases, that would be one thing.  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  As I wrote about earlier this week, the quality of our jobs continues to go down and more Americans fall out of the middle class every single day.

According to CNBC, there are hundreds of thousands of Americans with college degrees that are working for minimum wage right now...

    While a college degree might help get a job, it doesn't necessarily mean a good salary. According to a report released last month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 260,000 workers with bachelor's degrees and 200,000 workers with associate's degrees are making the minimum wage.

    The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and the minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour. Some cities and states have recently raised their minimum wage, but the BLS report defines only those making $7.25 an hour or less as "minimum wage workers."

And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, median household income in the United States has dropped for five years in a row.

This is why so many families are financially stressed these days.  The cost of living is going up at a steady pace, but for the most part our paychecks are not keeping up.  Average Americans are having to stretch their money farther than ever, and many families have reached the breaking point.

So what is going on in your neck of the woods?  Are you starting to see prices rise at the grocery stores where you live?  Please feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment below...

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/are-you-ready-for-the-price-of-food-to-more-than-double-by-the-end-of-this-decade
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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 06:32:19 am »

USAID Top Scientist: "For the first time food production will be limited on a global scale"

The U.S. Agency for International Development is a government body in charge of distributing taxpayer dollars to foreign projects that will theoretically bring humanitarian aid to struggling regions.  No matter what one might think about the nobility of such a mission, the agency has been much maligned for its decades-long mismanagement and outright theft of those funds (see here, here, and here among many sources), as well as being in a direct or indirect position to enable the use of food as a weapon.

Nevertheless - and perhaps because of such activities - USAID is well aware of the economic trends they need to address and/or manage. So, when their top science advisor speaks, it is essential to hear what he is saying. Disregarding any overarching agenda, let's see what is in store for the global food supply, according to Dr. Fred Davies, advisor for the bureau of food security and a Texas A&M AgriLife Regents Professor of Horticultural Sciences.


Most people are already aware that major droughts in California and Brazil are taking a dramatic toll on the price of food. Based on this alone, and the threat that these droughts could morph into mega droughts, food prices are expected to double in the next decade. Add in a pig virus in the U.S. and it's looking to be a rocky road ahead. In fact, even being strictly vegan - usually a surefire way to keep a grocery bill as low as possible - will still be challenging. From a recent article by Michael Snyder, we see the following:

    A professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University named Timothy Richards has calculated what the drought in California is going to do to produce prices at our supermarkets in the near future. His projections are quite sobering...

    Avocados likely to go up 17 to 35 cents to as much as $1.60 each.
    Berries likely to rise 21 to 43 cents to as much as $3.46 per clamshell container.
    Broccoli likely to go up 20 to 40 cents to a possible $2.18 per pound.
    Grapes likely to rise 26 to 50 cents to a possible $2.93 per pound.
    Lettuce likely to rise 31 to 62 cents to as much as $2.44 per head.
    Packaged salad likely to go up 17 to 34 cents to a possible $3.03 per bag.
    Peppers likely to go up 18 to 35 cents to a possible $2.48 per pound.
    Tomatoes likely to rise 22 to 45 cents to a possible $2.84 per pound. (Source)

This hasn't just dropped in out of the blue either. Holly Deyo discussed the comprehensive problems which were manifesting in 2010 as a global grain reserve crisis. As she stated succinctly:

    If the root cause were a single issue, it might be absorbable or at least less damaging. However, multiple factors are hiking food prices and they are only expected to climb.

And they certainly have, with the Ukraine crisis making matters even worse. Beyond the price increases, however, Dr. Fred Davies is cautioning about the ability to produce enough food for a rising population at any price. He sees the consequences as manifesting in earnest within 40 years:

    "For the first time in human history, food production will be limited on a global scale by the availability of land, water and energy,"

    [...]

    "Food issues could become as politically destabilizing by 2050 as energy issues are today."

Davies goes on to project that a 70 percent increase in food production will be required to meet rising demand and population.

Naturally, being an advisor to a government agency, Davies urges better intercommunication among seemingly disparate groups in order to presumably find better solutions for his agency to employ.

    He also made the connection between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and chronic disease prevention and pointed to research centers in the U.S. that are making links between farmers, biologists and chemists, grocers, health care practitioners and consumers. That connection, he suggested, also will be vital in the push to grow enough food to feed people in coming years.

As is very often the case, government agencies are great at pointing out problems - and much of what Davies mentions is spot-on. The following, for example, is contextually accurate:

    "The U.S. agricultural productivity has averaged less than 1.2 percent per year between 1990 and 2007," he said. "More efficient technologies and crops will need to be developed -- and equally important, better ways for applying these technologies locally for farmers -- to address this challenge." Davies said when new technologies are developed, they often do not reach the small-scale farmer worldwide.

    "A greater emphasis is needed in high-value horticultural crops," he said. "Those create jobs and economic opportunities for rural communities and enable more profitable, intense farming." Horticultural crops, Davies noted, are 50 percent of the farm-gate value of all crops produced in the U.S.&

    [...]

    "Agricultural productivity, food security, food safety, the environment, health, nutrition and obesity -- they are all interconnected," Davies said. One in eight people worldwide, he added, already suffers from chronic undernourishment, and 75 percent of the world's chronically poor are in the mid-income nations such as China, India, Brazil and the Philippines.

    "The perfect storm for horticulture and agriculture is also an opportunity," Davies said. "Consumer trends such as views on quality, nutrition, production origin and safety impact what foods we consume. Also, urban agriculture favors horticulture." For example, he said, the fastest growing segment of new farmers in California, are female, non-Anglos who are "intensively growing horticultural crops on small acreages," he said.

Ironically, his statements would seem to promote local community initiatives. However, USAID and other agencies responsible for food management and safety have been restrictive for so long that it can be argued that we are in the position we are in right now because of their management practices. It is without debate, for example, that in the U.S. many areas have begun eradicating any possibility of urban farming, front or backyard gardens, or any attempt at community self-sufficiency. Luckily, people are learning where the lines in the sand really are and have been heavily pushing back against rising bureaucracy. When it comes to feeding one's family, there can be no compromise; it's a human right.

Regardless of the debate over government intrusion and mismanagement, we are indeed facing food shortages and it is going to get much worse. With this in mind, and given that we are being offered a timeline of what is about to transpire right from the top of the pyramid, it would behoove us to take immediate action and break as much of our reliance on whatever managed food systems are offered as a solution. In fact, the statements of Dr. Davies could be seen as a tacit admission that their systems will simply never be sufficient, so we cannot count on receiving "aid."

For a quick, but comprehensive guide to surviving the coming age of food austerity, please review the following list of articles and share with your friends and family. Now that everyone is talking about food prices, we have a perfect opportunity to go beyond trying to convince people of what is coming and help one another attain food freedom right now. There are also some very exciting open-source, hi-tech solutions being offered, which are also part of this list.

http://www.naturalblaze.com/2014/04/usaid-top-scientist-for-first-time-food.html
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« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 05:47:19 am »

Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future

The average price of USDA choice-grade beef has soared to $5.28 a pound, and the average price of a pound of bacon has skyrocketed to $5.46.  Unfortunately for those that like to eat meat, this is just the beginning of the price increases.  Due to an absolutely crippling drought that won’t let go of the western half of the country, the total size of the U.S. cattle herd has shrunk for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.  But back in 1951, we had less than half the number of mouths to feed.  And a devastating pig virus that has never been seen in the United States before has already killed up to 6 million pigs in this country and continues to spread like wildfire.  What all of this means is that the supply of meat is going to be tight for the foreseeable future even as demand for meat continues to go up.  This is going to result in much higher prices, and so food is going to put a much larger dent in American family budgets in the months and years to come.

One year ago, the average price of USDA choice-grade beef was $4.91.  Now it is up to $5.28, and the Los Angeles Times says that we should not expect prices to come down “any time soon”…

    Come grilling season, expect your sirloin steak to come with a hearty side of sticker shock.

    Beef prices have reached all-time highs in the U.S. and aren’t expected to come down any time soon.

    Extreme weather has thinned the nation’s beef cattle herds to levels last seen in 1951, when there were about half as many mouths to feed in America.

    “We’ve seen strong prices before but nothing this extreme,” said Dennis Smith, a commodities broker for Archer Financial Services in Chicago. “This is really new territory.“

The outlook for pork is even worse.  The price of bacon is 13 percent higher than it was a year ago, and porcine epidemic diarrhea is absolutely devastating the U.S. pig population…

    A virus never before seen in the U.S. has killed millions of baby pigs in less than a year, and with little known about how it spreads or how to stop it, it’s threatening pork production and pushing up prices by 10 percent or more.

    Scientists think porcine epidemic diarrhea, which does not infect humans or other animals, came from China, but they don’t know how it got into the country or spread to 27 states since last May.

It is estimated that up to 6 million pigs may have died already, and it is being projected that U.S. pork production could be down by 7 percent this year.  That would be the largest decline in more than 30 years.

But even if someone brought an end to this pig virus tomorrow, we would still be facing a very serious food crisis in this nation.

The reason for this is the multi-year drought which is crippling farming and ranching in much of the western half of the country.

As you can see from the latest U.S. Drought Monitor update, the drought shows no signs of letting up…



Hopefully this drought will end soon.

But I wouldn’t count on it.

In fact, CBS News recently interviewed one scientist that says that the state of California could potentially be facing “a century-long megadrought“…

    Scientist Lynn Ingram, author of “The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow,” uses sediment cores inside tubes to study the history of drought in the West.

    “We’ve taken this record back about 3,000 years,” Ingram says.

    That record shows California is in one of its driest periods since 1580.

    While a three-to-five-year drought is often thought of as being a long drought, Ingram says history shows they can be much longer.

    “If we go back several thousand years, we’ve seen that droughts can last over a decade, and in some cases, they can last over a century,” she says.

So what will we do if this drought just keeps going and going and going?

As the article quoted above noted, last century was far wetter than usual.  During that time, we built teeming cities in the desert and we farmed vast areas that are usually bone dry…

    Scientists say their research shows the 20th century was one of the wettest centuries in the past 1,300 years. During that time, we built massive dams and rerouted rivers. We used abundant water to build major cities and create a $45 billion agriculture industry in a place that used to be a desert.

So what happens if the western half of the country returns to “normal”?

What will we do then?

Meanwhile, drought is devastating many other very important agricultural areas around the world as well.  For example, the horrible drought in Brazil could soon send the price of coffee through the roof…

    Coffee futures prices are up more than 75 percent this year due to a lack of appreciable rain in the coffee growing region of eastern Brazil during January and February, which are critical months for plant development, according to the International Coffee Organization, a London-based trade group.

At this point, 142 Brazilian cities are rationing water, and it wouldn’t just be coffee that would be affected by this drought.  As a recent RT article explained, Brazil is one of the leading exporters in a number of key agricultural categories…

    Over 140 Brazilian cities have been pushed to ration water during the worst drought on record, according to a survey conducted by the country’s leading newspaper. Some neighborhoods only receive water once every three days.

    Water is being rationed to nearly 6 million people living in a total of 142 cities across 11 states in Brazil, the world’s leading exporter of soybeans, coffee, orange juice, sugar and beef. Water supply companies told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper that the country’s reservoirs, rivers and streams are the driest they have been in 20 years. A record heat wave could raise energy prices and damage crops.

    Some neighborhoods in the city of Itu in Sao Paulo state (which accounts for one-quarter of Brazil’s population and one-third of its GDP), only receive water once every three days, for a total of 13 hours.

Most people just assume that we will always have massive quantities of cheap, affordable food in our supermarkets.

But just because that has been the case for as long as most of us can remember, that does not mean that it will always be true.

Times are changing, and food prices are already starting to move upward aggressively.

Yes, let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/why-meat-prices-are-going-to-continue-soaring-for-the-foreseeable-future
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2014, 05:52:56 am »

An Unprecedented Plague Has Hit Oranges And Another Has Hit Bananas

What is causing all of these plagues to hit our food supply?  Have you heard of citrus greening disease?  Probably not, but it has already gotten so bad that it is being projected that Florida’s orange harvest will be the smallest in 30 years.  Have you heard of TR4?  Probably not, but it has become such a nightmare that some analysts believe that it could eventually wipe out the entire global supply of the type of bananas that Americans eat.  In addition, another major plague is killing millions of our pigs, and a crippling drought that never seems to end is absolutely devastating agricultural production in the state of California.   Are we just having bad luck, or is there something else to all of this?

Citrus greening disease has been a steadily growing problem that has reached epidemic levels this year.  Because of this disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting that orange production in the U.S. this year will be down 18 percent compared to last year.  Here is more on this horrible plague from Yahoo News…

    A citrus disease spread by a tiny insect has devastated Florida’s orange crop, which is expected to be the worst in nearly 30 years, and sent juice prices soaring on New York markets.

    The culprit? The gnat-sized Asian citrus psyllid, which is infecting citrus trees across the Sunshine State with huanglongbing, or citrus greening disease, which causes fruit to taste bitter and fall from trees too soon.

    “It feels we are losing the fight,” said Ellis Hunt, the head of a family-run citrus farm spread over about 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) in the central Florida town of Lake Wales.

Another horrifying disease is threatening the global supply of bananas.  In fact, according to a recent CNBC article, the kind of bananas that we eat today could eventually be totally eliminated by the TR4 fungus…

    Banana lovers take note: The world’s supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat.

    “It’s a very serious situation,” said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida who in 1989 originally discovered a strain of Panama disease, called TR4, that may be growing into a serious threat to U.S. supplies of the fruit and Latin American producers.

    “There’s nothing at this point that really keeps the fungus from spreading,” he said in an interview with CNBC.

    While there are nearly 1,000 varieties of bananas, the most popular is the Cavendish, which accounts for 45 percent of the fruit’s global crop—and the one Americans mostly find in their supermarkets.

Another plague that is affecting our food supply is a virus known as porcine epidemic diarrhea.  It has already spread to 27 different U.S. states and has already killed up to 6 million pigs since first being spotted in the U.S. last May.

As a result of this virus, pork production is going to be down substantially this year, and it is being estimated that Americans could pay up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of the year.

And of course perhaps the worst plague of all that we are experiencing at the moment is the nightmarish drought in California that never seems to end.  Conditions are so dry that it is being estimated that California farmers may leave up to 800,000 acres fallow this year.  In other words, they are not going to grow anything at all.

Needless to say, this is going to result in much smaller overall harvests.  Just check out these numbers from the New York Times…

    A recent report on prospective planting from the federal Department of Agriculture forecast a 20 percent decline in California’s rice crop and a 35 percent decline in cotton this year from last year’s crop.

And it isn’t just rice and cotton that we need to be concerned about.  In a previous article, I included the following information which shows how dependent the rest of the U.S. is on fruits and vegetables grown in the state of California…

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better.

The lack of fresh produce is already being felt in California.  Usually, fresh produce accounts for about half of the food handed out at food banks in the state, but these days fresh produce is in short supply…

    The effects of California’s drought could soon hit the state’s food banks, which serve 2 million of its poorest residents.

    Fresh produce accounts for more than half the handouts at Bay Area food banks, but with an estimated minimum of 500,000 acres to be fallowed in California, growers will have fewer fruits and vegetables to donate.

    With less local supply, food prices will spike, increasing as much as 34 percent for a head of lettuce and 18 percent for tomatoes, according to an Arizona State University study released last week. With fewer fields planted, there could be as many as 20,000 unemployed agricultural workers who will need more food handouts, especially in the Central Valley.

By themselves, each one of these plagues is very serious.

Taken together, they represent an emerging “perfect storm” which could have a dramatic impact on our food supply.

So why is all of this happening?

Why is our food supply being hit with so many plagues?

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/an-unprecedented-plague-has-hit-oranges-and-another-has-hit-bananas
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2014, 09:45:15 am »

James 5:4  Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.
Jas 5:5  Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Jas 5:6  Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.
Jas 5:7  Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Jas 5:8  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
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« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2014, 02:25:38 pm »

Killer virus spreads unchecked through U.S. hog belt, pushing pork to record

John Goihl, a hog nutritionist in Shakopee, Minnesota, knows a farmer in his state who lost 7,500 piglets just after they were born. In Sampson County, North Carolina, 12,000 of Henry Moore's piglets died in three weeks. Some 30,000 piglets perished at John Prestage's Oklahoma operation in the fall of 2013.

The killer stalking U.S. hog farms is known as PEDv, a malady that in less than a year has wiped out more than 10 percent of the nation's pig population and helped send retail pork prices to record highs. The highly contagious Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is puzzling scientists searching for its origins and its cure and leaving farmers devastated in ways that go beyond financial losses.

"It's a real morale killer in a barn. People have to shovel pigs out instead of nursing them along," Goihl said.

Since June 2013 as many as 7 million pigs have died in the United States due to the virus, said Steve Meyer, president of Iowa-based Paragon Economics and consultant to the National Pork Board said. United States Department of Agriculture data showed the nation's hog herd at about 63 million as of March 1, 2014.

PEDv was first diagnosed in Ohio last May and has spread within a year to 30 states with no reliable cure in sight. U.S. packing plants may produce almost 2 percent less pork in 2014, according to Ken Mathews, USDA agricultural economist.

Last week the USDA responded to calls for more reliable data and classified PEDv as a reportable disease, a step that requires the pork industry to track its spread.

"It's a positive step that I wish they had taken last summer when it became obvious this was spreading rapidly," said Meyer.

Most farmers and researchers believe PEDv is transmitted from pig to pig by contact with pig manure.

"Something like a tablespoon of PEDv infected manure is roughly enough to infect the entire U.S. hog herd," said Rodney "Butch" Baker, swine biosecurity specialist at Iowa State University.

The National Pork Board has spent about $1.7 million researching the virus, which is nearly always fatal in pigs younger than 21 days. With pork prices at an all-time high of $3.83 a pound, the loss of baby pigs cuts into profits for hog farmers.

"If you have four weeks of mortality in a PEDv break, that's pretty devastating to the financial wellbeing of that operation," said Greg Boerboom, a Minnesota hog farmer.

"I think most producers are scared," Boerboom said. "They stay up at night."

PEDv does not pose a risk to human health and is not a food safety issue, the USDA says.

ORIGIN MYSTERY

Months of forensic research so far have turned up no clear evidence of how the disease entered the United States.

The virus is nearly identical to one that infected pigs in China's Anhui province, according to a report published in the American Society of Microbiology journal mBio. Researchers also are exploring whether the widespread use of pig-blood byproducts in hog feed might have introduced the disease.

There have been outbreaks in recent years in Europe, Japan, Mexico and parts of South America, though in milder forms than seen in the U.S. and China.

The disease has taken root in Canada, too, where the pork industry is deeply integrated with U.S. pork production.

LIKE A LAWN MOWER

PEDv thrives in cold, damp environments, and after slowing last summer its spread accelerated during the past winter. In mid-December, there were over 1,500 cases but by mid-April, that had more than tripled to 5,790, according to USDA data.

Altogether, of nearly 15,000 samples tested for PEDv about 32 percent have been positive.

The virus "acts like a lawn mower" on the villi in a pig's intestines, which are the tiny projections that aid digestion, said Tony Forshey, chief of animal health at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. With their villi gone, the piglets cannot absorb nutrients from food or water, contract diarrhea and die from dehydration.

So far, no vaccine has been able to completely protect pigs from the disease. An Iowa company, Harrisvaccines Inc., has made some progress, while pharmaceutical giants Merck Animal Health and Zoetis Inc have joined with universities to begin vaccine development.

"There is no silver bullet for PEDv," said Justin Ellis, marketing manager at Alltech, which developed a feed additive designed to reduce risk of the disease.

STRINGENT MEASURES

The disease is spreading even as farmers and truckers impose stricter cleanliness measures across the so-called Hog Belt, which stretches across most of the U.S. Midwest and Plains States and extends south to North Carolina, the nation's No. 2 hog producer. Iowa ranks first.

"It's a complete lifestyle change," said Iowa State's Baker. "In the past the truckers haven't thought of biosecurity much."

Some hog farmers prohibit outside visitors. Others require workers to change clothes when entering and leaving barns. Truck drivers wipe down the step into their cabs, disinfect their steering wheels and change boots or wear disposable booties before entering farm yards.

The industry wants truck washes to use fresh water instead of recycled, since PEDv can live in room temperature water for up to 13 days, a University of Minnesota study said.

"The only truck I regularly allow on site is the feed truck and last November I told the driver not to get out of the truck," said Bill Tentinger, an Iowa farmer who so far has kept PEDv at bay.

The extra washing, drying and disinfecting can consume at least two hours and cost up to $500 per load, industry sources said.

DEATH TOLLS

Bright yellow signs marked "PED" are popping up outside North Carolina farms warning the virus is present. One-third of North Carolina's 3,000 hog farms have been struck by PEDv since the first diagnosed case there in June 2013, the state says.

So many piglets have died that Tom Butler, a farmer who fattens hogs for market in southeastern Harnett County, is having difficulty finding animals. His herd is down 25 percent to 6,000 pigs, costing him more than $100,000.

"We were spiraling downhill for a while but I think we've leveled off," Butler said. "The industry is learning to cope."

http://news.yahoo.com/killer-virus-spreads-unchecked-u-hog-belt-pushing-180045876--finance.html;_ylt=AwrTWfwiSF1TLkcA_ArQtDMD
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2014, 05:01:28 am »

Wheat Prices Jump to 13-Month High Amid Drought
Hot, Dry Weather Expected to Continue This Week


Wheat prices jumped to a one-year high as hot, dry weather imperiled the U.S. crop and unrest in Ukraine fueled worries about grain exports in Eastern Europe.

A U.S. winter-wheat crop already battered by drought faced new burdens as temperatures soared above 90 degrees in parts of Kansas and Oklahoma and little rain fell during the weekend. The hot weather continued Monday and is expected to further affect wheat-growing regions in the U.S. Great Plains before moderating later this week, according to private forecaster Commodity Weather Group LLC.

"The heat is further stressing an already stressed crop," said Austin Damiani, an analyst with Minneapolis-based brokerage Frontier Futures.

On Monday, wheat for May delivery rose 13.5 cents, or 1.9%, to $7.2125 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the highest settlement price for a front-month contract since April 30, 2013.

Meanwhile, wheat prices also were buoyed by intensified fighting over the weekend in Ukraine, a major wheat exporter. Violence has spilled into the Black Sea port city of Odessa, from which much of the country's grain is exported, leading to concerns that tensions with Russia will cause Ukraine to produce and ship less grain. That could prompt wheat buyers to purchase more supplies from the U.S.

Participants on a wheat tour in Kansas last week measured winter-wheat yields in the state at 33.2 bushels an acre, the lowest in seven years, while a separate group projected Oklahoma production at 66.5 million bushels, which would be the lowest since 1957. Winter wheat, used to make bread, is planted in autumn and harvested in late spring and early summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday said in a weekly report on crop conditions that 31% of the winter-wheat crop is rated good or excellent, down from 33% last week.

At the same time that crop estimates are shrinking for winter wheat, analysts said, wet weather further north in places such as North Dakota is stalling the planting of the spring-wheat variety.

The turmoil in Ukraine also helped push U.S. corn prices higher, as the Eastern European country is a significant player in that market, too, analysts said. May corn on the Chicago Board of Trade advanced 9.25 cents, or 1.9%, to $5.0325 a bushel.

http://online.wsj.com/news/article_email/SB10001424052702303417104579543720100655360-lMyQjAxMTA0MDAwNTEwNDUyWj
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2014, 06:59:26 am »

The Meat Crisis Is Here: Price Of Shrimp Up 61% – 7 Million Pigs Dead – Beef At All-Time High

As the price of meat continues to skyrocket, will it soon be considered a "luxury item" for most American families?  This week we learned that the price of meat in the United States rose at the fastest pace in more than 10 years last month.  Leading the way is the price of shrimp.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the price of shrimp has jumped an astounding 61 percent compared to a year ago.  The price of pork is also moving upward aggressively thanks to a disease which has already killed about 10 percent of all of the pigs in the entire country.  And the endless drought in the western half of the country has caused the size of the U.S. cattle herd to shrink to a 63 year low and has pushed the price of beef to an all-time high.  This is really bad news if you like to eat meat.  The truth is that the coming "meat crisis" is already here, and it looks like it is going to get a lot worse in the months ahead.

A devastating bacterial disease called "early mortality syndrome" is crippling the shrimping industry all over Asia right now.  According to Bloomberg, this has pushed the price of shrimp up 61 percent over the past 12 months...

    In March, shrimp prices jumped 61 percent from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The climb is mainly due to a bacterial disease known as early mortality syndrome. While the ailment has no effect on humans, it’s wreaking havoc on young shrimp farmed in Southeast Asia, shrinking supplies.

This disease has an extremely high mortality rate.  In fact, according to the article that I just quoted, it kills approximately nine out of every ten shrimp that it infects...

    Cases of early mortality syndrome, which destroys the digestive systems of young shrimp, were first reported in China in 2009, said Donald Lightner, a professor of animal and comparative biomedical sciences at University of Arizona in Tucson.

    The disease, which kills about 90 percent of the shrimp it infects, traveled from China to Vietnam to Malaysia and then to Thailand, he said. Cases also were reported in Mexico last year, Lightner said.

A different disease is driving up the price of pork in the United States.  It is known as the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, and in less than a year it has spread to 30 states and has killed approximately 7 million pigs.

The price of bacon is already up 13.1 percent over the past year, but this is just the beginning.

It is being projected that U.S. pork production could be down by as much as 10 percent this year, and Americans could end up paying up to 20 percent more for pork by the end of 2014.

The price of beef has also moved to unprecedented heights.  Thanks to the crippling drought that never seems to end in the western half of the nation, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has been declining for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that is has been since 1951.

Over the past year, the price of ground chuck beef is up 5.9 percent.  It would have been worse, but ranchers have been slaughtering lots of cattle in order to thin their herds in a desperate attempt to get through this drought.  If this drought does not end soon, the price of beef is going to go much, much higher.

As prices for shrimp, pork and beef have risen, many consumers have been eating more chicken.  But the price of chicken is rising rapidly as well.

In fact, the price of chicken breast is up 12.4 percent over the past 12 months.

Unfortunately, this could just be the very beginning of this meat crisis.  As I wrote about recently, some scientists are warning that we could potentially be facing "a century-long megadrought".

And right now, there are no signs that the drought out west is letting up.  Just check out the map posted below.  It comes from the U.S. Drought Monitor, and it shows how the drought in California has significantly intensified since the beginning of the year...

California Drought 2014


And considering how much the rest of the nation relies on the agricultural production coming out of California, it is very alarming to see that the drought is getting even worse.

Right now, things are so bone dry in most of the state that it is easy for wildfires to get out of control.  In fact, Governor Jerry Brown has just declared a state of emergency in San Diego County because of the vicious wildfires that are raging there...

    Officials ordered another round of evacuations early Thursday north of San Diego as gusty winds and near 100-degree temperatures offer little relief from at least nine fires that have consumed a 14-square mile area of Southern California.

    Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Diego County, which frees up special resources and funding for the firefight.

    The fires, coming earlier than normal in the wildfire season, are being fed by brush and trees left brittle by prolonged drought. They are also being whipped by a Santa Ana wind system that reverses the normal flow of wind from the Pacific Ocean and creates tinderbox fire conditions.

    For the first time in its 14-year-history, the U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal website that tracks drought, designated the entire state of California as in a severe (or worse) drought.

If you do not live out west, you may have no idea how very serious this all really is.

For years, I have been warning about the potential for dust bowl conditions to return to the western half of the country.

Now it is actually starting to happen.

And we already have tens of millions of people in this country that are struggling to feed themselves.  If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled "Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity".

So what happens if drought, diseases and plagues continue to cause food production in this country to plummet?

Those that have studied these things tell us that there is a clear correlation between food prices and civil unrest.  For example, the following is a short excerpt from a recent Scientific American article...

    Since the beginning of 2014, riots have occurred in countries including Thailand and Venezuela. Although they’re different cultures on different continents, these mass protests movements may all have one commonality; increasing food prices may have contributed to their occurrence. The cost of food has been steadily increasing in both Thailand and Venezuela; last month demonstrators in Caracas took to the streets marching with empty pots to protest food shortages. According to Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam and fellow researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), events such as these may be anticipated by a mathematical model that examines rising food costs.

    The events of 2014 aren’t without precedent; the price of food has provoked (and placated) throughout history, beginning in Imperial Rome when Augustus introduced grain subsidies. In recent years, the Middle East has been particularly affected by the cost of grain. Centuries after Egypt developed bread as we recognize it, the nation experienced a bread intifada – the country rioted for two days in January 1977 following Anwar Sadat’s decision to drastically decrease food subsidies. More recently, under the rule of Hosni Mubarak, the price of grain rose 30 percent between 2010 and 2011. Then, on January 25, 2011 a new revolution began in Egypt.

Could rapidly rising food prices cause civil unrest in the United States eventually?

It won't happen today, and it won't happen tomorrow, but some day it might.

Meanwhile, you might want to start carving out a significantly larger portion of the family budget for food for the foreseeable future.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-meat-crisis-is-here-price-of-shrimp-up-61-7-million-pigs-dead-beef-at-all-time-high
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2014, 11:20:43 am »

Could you soon be paying 'extraordinarily high prices for your morning coffee?' Fungus has caused $1BILLION worth of damage to beans

    Coffee rust, or roya, has ravaged coffee harvests across Central America
    Especially hard hit is the arabica coffee plant, used in high-end coffees
    Prices for arabica coffee jumped to a two-year high in the futures market
    Washington estimates that production may drop up to 40% in coming years



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2632495/Could-soon-paying-extraordinarily-high-prices-morning-coffee-Fungus-caused-1BILLION-worth-damage-beans.html#ixzz32BAYxWg4

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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2014, 01:48:29 pm »

USDA warns of sticker shock on U.S. beef as grilling season starts

The Department of Agriculture has warned of sticker shock facing home chefs on the eve of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the unofficial start of the U.S. summer grilling season.

The agency said conditions in California could have "large and lasting effects on U.S. fruit, vegetable, dairy and egg prices," as the most populous U.S. state struggles through what officials are calling a catastrophic drought.

The consumer price index (CPI) for U.S. beef and veal is up almost 10 percent so far in 2014, reflecting the fastest increase in retail beef prices since the end of 2003. Prices, even after adjusting for inflation, are at record highs.

"The drought in Texas and Oklahoma has worsened somewhat in the last month, providing further complications to the beef production industry," USDA said.

Beef and veal prices for the whole of 2014 are now forecast to increase by 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent, a sharp advance from last month's forecast for a 3 to 4 percent rise. Pork prices are set to rise by 3 percent to 4 percent, up from a 2 to 3 percent advance expected a month ago.

The USDA said overall U.S. food price inflation for 2014, including food bought at grocery stores and food bought at restaurants, would rise by 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent in 2014.

That is up from 2013, when retail food prices were almost flat, but in line with historical norms and unchanged from April's forecast.

"The food-at-home CPI has already increased more in the first four months of 2014 then it did in all of 2013," USDA noted. At-home spending accounts for about 60 percent of the U.S. food CPI.

A major factor for rising pork prices is the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), responsible for more than 7 million U.S. piglet deaths in the past year.

Egg prices are also climbing - up 15 percent in April alone - and are expected to rise by 5 to 6 percent on the year, and higher milk prices are feeding through to other products in the dairy case, particularly cheese.

Sweet lovers and caffeine addicts will see some relief, however, since global prices for sugar and coffee remain low, USDA said.

The agency forecast prices of sugar and sweets to rise by 1 percent to 2 percent in 2014 and prices for non-alcoholic beverages to rise by 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent. Both forecasts were lowered this month.

"It appears supermarkets are maintaining minimal price inflation on packaged food products, possibly in an effort to keep prices competitive in light of rising cost pressures for most perishable items," USDA said.

So far the severe California drought has not had a discernible impact on national fruits or vegetable prices, USDA said, while warning that the effects are still to come.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-faces-higher-food-price-inflation-2014-led-141513395--business.html;_ylt=AwrBJR.oaX9TjhMAxynQtDMD
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« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2014, 03:56:45 am »

World Bank warns of food riots as rising food prices push world populations toward revolt

A new report issued by the World Bank (1) warns that food prices are skyrocketing globally, with wheat up 18 percent and corn up 12 percent this quarter. Ukraine, one of the largest wheat exporters in the world, has suffered a 73 percent increase in domestic wheat costs. Argentina has seen wheat prices skyrocket 70 percent.

According to the World Bank, these price increases have been caused primarily by three factors: 1) Sharply higher demand for food in China, 2) U.S. drought conditions that hammered wheat production, and 3) unrest in Ukraine due to the near state of war with Russia.

Rising food prices lead to food riots
According to the World Bank, rising food prices have caused 51 food riots in 37 countries since 2007. These include Tunisia, South Africa, Cameroon and India, among other nations.

"Food price shocks can both spark and exacerbate conflict and political instability," warns the report.

A World Bank blog entry by Senior Economist Jose Cuesta entitled "No Food, No Peace" (2) warns that "It is quite likely that we will experience more food riots in the foreseeable future... food price shocks have repeatedly led to spontaneous -- typically urban -- sociopolitical instability."

The following chart shows from the World Bank shows the sharp trend toward increased food prices worldwide:

Hunger leads to revolution
What the World Bank is leading to (but not quite saying) is that hunger leads to revolution. When the People are starving in the streets, there is political unrest that can easily turn violent. Because this is a fundamental human reaction, it is just as true in the United States, UK and other first-world nations as it is in Cameroon or India.

American investigative journalist Alfred Henry Lewis (1855-1914) famously said, "There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy." He went on to explain, "It may be taken as axiomatic that a starving man is never a good citizen."

What he means is that hunger dispels the illusions of a polite society and unleashes the desperate animal-like nature that lurks inside all human beings. A starving man trying to feed his starving children will at some point abandon all law and order, doing anything necessary to keep himself and his children alive, including engaging in robbery, assault and murder.

Stated another way, the only reason most people obey laws and agree to live in a socially polite manner is because their bellies are full. Take away the food and all illusions of social friendliness vanish in about nine meals (three days). No local police force can hope to control the actions of the starving masses, regardless of how obedient the population once was when food was abundant.

The coming food collapse is now inevitable
Many are now warning about the coming collapse in the food supply. These warnings include all the following factors:

* EBT CARDS are the federal government's "food stamp" system that distributes money to over 47 million Americans who use that money on debit cards to buy food. The EBT system depends entirely on the financial solvency of the federal government, an empire steeped in over $17 trillion in debt and constantly on the verge of a financial wipeout. When the day comes that the feds stop funding the EBT cards, food riots are imminent. EBT cardholders have already ransacked a Wal-Mart store, even in good times! (Once the EBT entitlements are cut off, EBT card holders will simply ransack the same stores they used to visit as customers. Once those stores run out of food, U.S. cities will devolve into all-out street warfare.)

* HYDROLOGIC CYCLE SCIENTISTS are warning that much of the food production taking place in the world today -- across the USA, India, China, etc. -- depends entirely on fossil water extraction from underground aquifers. Those aquifers are being rapidly depleted, some dropping more than a foot each year. Once this fossil water is used up, it's gone for hundreds or thousands of years. Entire breadbasket regions of the world (such as the U.S. Midwest) will be turned into agricultural deserts. Already, much of Texas and Oklahoma is returning to Dust Bowl conditions.

* ENVIRONMENTALISTS warn that climate change will cause radical weather patterns (droughts, floods, freezes) that devastate the food supply. It is undeniable that radical weather has already caused unprecedented destruction of U.S. food production over the last 18 months. (The underlying causes of such weather patterns, however, remain hotly debated.)

* GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS are genetically vulnerable to disease because they are mono-culture crops with little genetic diversity. Nearly all corn grown in the USA, for example, is genetically modified corn with a near-identical genetic makeup. The situation is obviously ripe for precisely the kind of disease wipeout we're already witnessing with global banana crops.

* ECONOMISTS are warning that the global money supply is on the verge of collapse. Once it collapses, banking would go down with it, destroying the infrastructure that people use to buy food. If grocery stores can't conduct financial transactions, they can't buy inventory to retail to the public, for starters. To stay informed on this subject, read up at www.TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com or www.SHTFplan.com or www.SteveQuayle.com

* PERMACULTURE advocates are warning that the global seed supply has been deliberately collapsed by biotech companies which routinely buy up small seed companies and shut them down. The intention is to create seed monopolies and eliminate competing alternatives to patented, corporate-controlled seeds. The answer to all this, by the way, is found in the wisdom of people like Geoff Lawton who teaches decentralized, abundant food production based on permaculture design science. (Really, Geoff's wisdom can save our world if embraced as a replacement for corporate agriculture...)

Temporary illusions of cheap food will soon be shattered
In other words, there are economic, hydrologic and genetic reasons why today's abundant food supply will come to an abrupt end. The cheap, easy food you buy at the grocery store right now is a temporary illusion of cheap food based on unsustainable agricultural practices that use up fossil water, destroy topsoil and poison the environment.

Even the U.S. government's subsidizing of food through its runaway food stamp program is a temporary artifact of a nation headed for an inevitable debt collapse. Learn more from www.TrendsResearch.com

It is therefore a mathematical and physical certainty that this illusion of cheap, plentiful food will soon be shattered. And in its wake, we will be left with a starving, desperate population with nothing to lose by marching in the streets or staging a violent revolt.

America has abandoned food security in favor of corporate monopolies
Everywhere that this happens will see cities turned into death traps. Because of the centralized corporate farming model that now dominates first-world economies, food production (and even farm land) is controlled by very small number of corporate operations. This is the opposite of food security.

A nation practicing food security would encourage home gardens and support decentralized food production that includes urban food production. Interestingly, nations like Cuba and Russia have encouraged precisely these practices, which is why they are more resistant to a food supply collapse.

In the United States, however, home gardeners have been threatened with arrest. People who produce real food are often raided at gunpoint by government authorities. Farmers who try to produce clean, non-GMO crops are sued by companies like Monsanto whose seeds pollute their farm land.

Government and corporate entities have colluded in the United States to monopolize food production, thereby centralizing it in a way that compromises food security. The day of Americans being told to "plant Victory Gardens" during World War II are long gone. Today, we're told to obediently line up and eat genetically modified soybeans or drink hormone-contaminated cow's milk. Government now demands our food obedience and actively works against individuals who try to produce their own food at the local level.

Why the food supply is America's tactical vulnerability
This makes America wildly vulnerable to disruptions in the food supply. While many nations can manage to get by thanks to home gardens and decentralize food production, the United States of America has allowed government and corporations to structure the national food supply system into a precarious, non-fault-tolerant configuration that's practically begging for collapse.

Just one disruption in the system -- a failed power grid, failed fuel refineries or a failed financial transaction infrastructure -- would collapse food availability nationwide, sending the population into a near-immediate state of desperate starvation. Martial Law would no doubt quickly follow, after which Americans would be ordered to starve to death at the hands of FEMA instead of starving to death on their own.

On March 16, 2012, Obama declared federal control over all farms, food, livestock and seeds
The federal government already knows everything I'm telling you here. That's why on march 16, 2012, President Obama issued an executive order entitled, "NATIONAL DEFENSE RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS."

You can read the official White House press release admitting this right here.

This executive order states that the President alone has the authority to take over all resources in the nation (labor, food, industry, etc.) as long as it is done "to promote the national defense."

The proclamation gives the Secretary of Agriculture full authority to seize all "food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer."

The Secretary of Defense is given control over all "water resources," and the Secretary of Commerce is given control over "all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials."

The federal government sees what's coming, in other words, and has already laid claim to all YOUR food, farm land, livestock, fertilizer and farm equipment, among other food-related assets.

If, after reading this, you aren't double-checking your secret storable food stockpiles, you're crazy. As a small plug if you want to help support Natural News, we offer the world's only certified organic long-term storable non-GMO freeze-dried fruits (plus some FD organic veggies) at the Natural News Store.

Sources for this article include:

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045369_World_Bank_food_riots_emergency_preparedness.html##ixzz33NNl7jOX
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 07:21:35 am »

Price of Beef and Bacon Reach All-Time High

The price of beef and bacon hit its all-time high in the United States in June, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

In January 1980, when BLS started tracking the price of these commodities, ground chuck cost $1.82 per pound and bacon cost $1.45 per pound. By this June 2014, ground chuck cost $3.91 per pound and bacon cost $6.11 per pound.

A decade ago, in June 2004, a pound of ground chuck cost $2.49, which means that the commodity has increased by 57 percent since then. Bacon has increased by 78.7 percent from the $3.42 it cost in June 2004 to the $6.11 it costs now.

In one month, beef increased from $3.85 in May 2014 to $3.91 in June 2014. Bacon increased from $6.05 in May 2014 to $6.11 in June 2014.

Each month, the BLS employs data collectors to visit thousands of retail stores all over the United States to obtain information on the prices of thousands of items to measure changes for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI is simply the average change over time in prices paid by consumers for a market basket of goods and services.

The BLS found that there was a 0.1 percent change in the food index in June, which tracks foods like meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy, as well as many others. “The index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs increased in June, though its 0.2 percent increase was its smallest since December,” stated BLS.

“The index for food at home has increased 2.4 percent over the past year, with the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs up 7.5 percent,” BLS stated.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/ali-meyer/price-beef-and-bacon-reach-all-time-high
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« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2014, 02:21:22 pm »

More Than A Thousand Stood Under Heat & Sun For Free Food In Miami

More than a thousand locals lined up Friday morning for several hours under the scorching sun and heat in Miami  for a box full of food.

The event located at the Central Shopping Plaza at 3825 NW 7th Street started at 9:00 a.m.

Participants got a box of free vegetables, meats and bread worth $100 until 12:00 p.m. or until supplies lasted.

Those who didn’t want to stand in line could wait in their car for the drive-thru portion of the event.

Brittany Payne, a mother of three, stood in line for hours with her baby boy.

“It’s something I have to do to feed my kids,” said Payne.

Payne joined Miami residents lined up under the scorching sun and heat.

“It’s a blessing because if it wasn’t for them I couldn’t eat today,” said Payne.

Farm Share partnered up with Commissioner Francis Suarez for the massive food giveaway in a neighborhood in need.

“We are a city of tales; the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’ The city is growing tremendously but we also have a very poor city. The need is far greater than the supply that we have,” said Suarez.

In the parking lot tents were set up and dozens of volunteers were on hand to help the residents fill their boxes with vegetables, chicken, juice and gift card to Winn Dixie.

Many of those lined up were elderly. One man was so overcome by heat, he had to be treated and transported.Others tried cooling themselves off with paper fans that were given out and their own umbrellas.

For all the others who managed to tough it out they said it’s something they had to do.

“Did you ever think you would be doing this,” asked CBS4’s Marybel Rodríguez to Julio Exposito who was waiting in line. “Not in my wildest dreams” said Exposito.

Damien Cabrera who was also standing in line, showed what he had received.

“So far I have vegetables, juices, chicken and a gift card,” said Cabrera.

Those who were able to get food, will be taking it to a home where a box full of food makes a huge difference.

“If it wasn’t for this would you have food in your refrigerator,” asked Rodriguez.

“No, not right now,” said Payne.

The distribution was on a first come first serve basis. By 11:15 a.m. the food had run out.

For those who were still in line Commissioner Suarez spoke with them promising another giveaway soon.

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2014/08/22/locals-line-up-for-free-food-distribution-in-miami/
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« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2014, 05:15:27 am »

Milk Costs Most Ever to Signal Higher Prices for Pizza

Milk futures rose to a record as exports by the U.S. climbed amid shrinking inventories of cheese and butter, signaling higher costs for pizza and pastries.

The U.S. shipped a record 17 percent of milk production in the first half, according to Alan Levitt, a spokesman at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Cheese stockpiles in July dropped 8 percent from a year earlier, and butter supplies tumbled 42 percent, the Department of Agriculture said last month. U.S. dairy costs are higher than world prices, signaling imports will increase, said Jon Spainhour, a partner at Rice Dairy LLC.

“Usually, we use the first six months of the year to build the inventory we’re going to sell in the last six months,” Spainhour said in a telephone interview from Chicago. “People are saying that ‘I know those imports are coming in, but in the meantime, I’ve got to make sure I’ve got enough to get on the supermarket shelf.’ ”

Milk futures for September settlement rose 0.7 percent to close at $24.45 per 100 pounds at 1:11 p.m. on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Earlier, the class III variety, used as a cheese benchmark, reached a record $24.47. The price has jumped 26 percent this year.

Dairy consumption increases in the North American autumn as U.S. football fans boost pizza orders and bakers need more butter for holiday cakes and pastries, Spainhour said.

U.S. cheese consumption will rise to a record 4.88 million metric tons in 2014, USDA data shows. Milk use will climb to an all-time high of 93.4 million tons.

“We just didn’t build the stocks we needed to, and domestic cheese buyers are still scrambling to build that inventory,” Spainhour said.

In July, retail whole milk was $3.65 a gallon, the most for the month since 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-08/milk-costs-most-ever-to-signal-higher-prices-for-pizza.html
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« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2014, 02:44:35 pm »

Low Inflation? The Price Of Ground Beef Has Risen 17 Percent Over The Past Year

Thanks to the Federal Reserve, the middle class is slowly being suffocated by rising food prices.  Every single dollar in your wallet is constantly becoming less valuable because of the inflation the Fed systematically creates.  And if you try to build wealth by saving money and earning interest on it, you still lose because thanks to the Federal Reserve's near zero interest rate policies banks pay next to nothing on savings accounts.  The Federal Reserve wants you to either spend your money or to put it in the giant casino that we call the stock market.  But when Americans spend their paychecks they are finding that they don't stretch as far as they once did.  The cost of living continues to rise at a much faster pace than wages are rising, and this is especially true when it comes to the price of food.

(Read More....) http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/low-inflation-the-price-of-ground-beef-has-risen-17-percent-over-the-past-year
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2014, 04:50:53 am »

Turkey production down, wholesale prices up

Turkey production is at its lowest level in nearly three decades and wholesale prices are at an all-time high, but Thanksgiving cooks probably won't see much difference in the price they pay at the stores for their frozen birds.

This year's anticipated stock is 235 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service — the lowest since 1986, when U.S. farmers produced roughly 207 million birds.

While the estimated 2014 number doesn't indicate a shortage of turkeys, which can remain in cold storage for a year or longer, it does reflect a pullback in recent years by poultry producers who were forced to reduce their flocks to remain afloat.

"Last year was a bloodbath. It was bad," said John Zimmerman, a farmer in Northfield, Minnesota, who produces about 300,000 turkeys a year. He said scaled back his numbers in recent years because higher feed and transportation prices, among other things, cut into his bottom line. Even the price of soybean meal — which accounts for about 30 percent of turkey feed — is at a historical high, he said.

All areas of livestock production — poultry included — were drastically cut after the widespread 2012 drought in an attempt to stifle losses, says Corinne Alexander, a Purdue University agricultural economist. Plus, many farmers are using feed that they bought in the wake of the drought, which cost more than the current market price.

"What's happening in the turkey sector is a mini-story of what is happening in other sectors, where the impact has been really dramatic," Alexander said. "If you look at beef cattle, we have the smallest beef cattle herd since 1951, and prices for beef are up 17 percent this year."

October wholesale prices for live turkeys jumped 12 percent from 2013, from 72 cents per pound to 81 cents, NASS commodities statistician Michael Klamm said. And frozen turkey wholesale prices were expected to be between $1.12 and $1.16 per pound in the fourth quarter — up from $1.05 per pound at this time last year, the USDA said.

But consumers won't necessarily see that reflected in the price of their Thanksgiving meal centerpiece.

"There's really no correlation between what grocery store chains are paying and what they're selling them at," USDA agriculture economist David Harvey said.

Turkey numbers peaked in 1996, with nearly 303 million birds.

Alexander doesn't expect the paltry poultry numbers to stick around, because, compared with other livestock, it doesn't take as long to rebuild the flock — about three to five months to raise a turkey to market size. Plus, this year's record corn harvest will help the process, she said, as current projections indicate corn prices are about half of what they were in September 2012.

Zimmerman doubts corn prices will fall much more because of demand for ethanol and exports, and because farmers are rebuilding cattle and swine herds, too, cutting further into the nation's abundant corn supply.

"It takes a while to recover, once you have a shock to the system, because premium stock gets liquidated and it takes time to raise it back up," he said of the nation's turkey supply. "There's not going to be a quick change of price, but there should be a moderate change in the next six months."

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6236ae06bf9b476680bcaf48a9d4b14b/turkey-production-down-wholesale-prices
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« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2015, 06:55:09 am »

The Price Of Ground Beef Has DOUBLED Since The Last Financial Crisis

Since the depths of the last recession, the price of ground beef in the United States has doubled.  Has your paycheck doubled since then?  Even though the Federal Reserve insists that we are in a “low inflation” environment, the government’s own numbers show that the price of ground beef has been on an unprecedented run over the past six years.  In early 2009, the average price of a pound of ground beef was hovering near 2 dollars.  In February, it hit a brand new all-time record high of $4.238 per pound.  Even just 12 months ago, the price of ground beef was sitting at $3.555 per pound.  So we are talking about a huge increase.  And this hits American families where they really live.  Each year, the average American consumes approximately 270 pounds of meat.  The only nation in the world that eats more meat than we do is Luxembourg.  If the paychecks of American workers were going up fast enough to deal with this increase, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.  But of course that is not happening.  In an article just last week, I showed that real median household income is a couple thousand dollars lower now than it was during the depths of the last recession.  The middle class is being squeezed, and we are rapidly getting to the point where burgers are going to be considered a “luxury” item.

The following chart was posted by the Economic Policy Journal on Wednesday, and it incorporates the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  When I first saw it, I was rather stunned.  I knew that the price of ground beef had become rather outrageous in my local grocery stores, but I had no idea just how much damage had been done over the past six years…



The biggest reason why the price of ground beef has been going up is the fact that the U.S. cattle herd has been shrinking.  It shrunk seven years in a row, and on January 1st, 2014 it was the smallest that it had been since 1951.

The good news is that the decline appears to have stopped, at least for the moment.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the size of the U.S. cattle herd actually increased by 1 percent last year…

    The U.S. cattle herd expanded in 2014 for the first time in eight years, offering hope to consumers that beef prices could start to subside after soaring to a series of records.

    The nation’s cattle supply increased 1% in the year through Jan. 1 to 89.8 million head, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Agriculture Department, reversing a steady decline fueled by prolonged drought in the southern U.S. Great Plains and industry consolidation that encouraged many ranchers to thin herds.

But an increase of 1 percent is just barely going to keep up with the official population growth rate.  If you factor in illegal immigration, we are still losing ground.

And if we have another major drought in cattle country this summer, the cattle herd is going to start shrinking again.

In addition, the price of food overall has been steadily rising for years.  Here is a chart that I shared the other day…



It boggles the mind that the Federal Reserve can claim that we are in a “low inflation” environment.  Anyone that goes grocery shopping feels the pain of these rising prices every time that they go to the store.

In the list that I put together yesterday, I included the following statistic…

    Almost half of all Americans (47 percent) do not put a single penny out of their paychecks into savings.

One of the primary reasons why so many Americans are not saving any money is because many families simply cannot save any money.  Their paychecks are stagnant while the cost of living just keeps going up and up.

There simply are not enough “good jobs” out there anymore.  Our economy continues to bleed middle class jobs and the competition for the jobs that remain is quite intense.

Do you know what the two most common occupations in America today are?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they are “retail sales clerk” and “cashier”.

And of course neither of those “occupations” pays even close to what is required to support a middle class family.

On average, a retail sales clerk makes $24,020 a year, and a cashier makes $20,670 a year.

Because the quality of our jobs has declined so much, there are millions of American families today in which both the mother and the father are working multiple jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet each month.

But don’t worry, the Federal Reserve says that we are nearly at “full employment“, and Barack Obama says that everything is going to be just fine.

Actually, the truth is that things are about to get a lot worse.  At this point, we are even getting pessimistic numbers out of the Federal Reserve.  Just this week we learned that the Fed is now projecting that economic growth for the first quarter of 2015 will be barely above zero…

    From almost 2.5% GDP growth expectations in February, The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model has now collapsed its estimates of Q1 GDP growth to just 0.2% – plunging from +1.4% just 2 weeks ago. The reality of plunging capex and no decoupling is starting to rear its ugly head in the hard data and as the sun warms things up, weather will start to lose its ability to sway sentiment.

We are at a turning point.  The bubble of false stability that we have been living in is rapidly coming to an end, and when people start to realize that another great economic crisis is coming there is going to be a lot of panic.

And as far as food prices go, they are just going to keep taking a bigger chunk out of all of our wallets.

As high as prices are already, the truth is that your food dollars are never going to go farther than they do right now.

So let us hope for the best, but let us also get prepared for the worst.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-price-of-ground-beef-has-doubled-since-the-last-financial-crisis
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« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2015, 04:44:07 am »

Feds likely to shut down sardine fishing on West Coast

West Coast fisheries managers will likely shut down sardine fishing this year as numbers decline, echoing a previous collapse that decimated a thriving industry and increasing worries that other species might be withheld from the commercial market.

Fishermen are resigned to not being able to get sardines, but they hope the Pacific Fishery Management Council will not be so concerned that it sets the level for incidental catch of sardines at zero, shutting down other fisheries, such as mackerel, anchovies and market squid, which often swim with sardines.

Sardines were a thriving fishery on the West Coast from World War I through World War II, and the cannery-lined waterfront in Monterey, California, became the backdrop for John Steinbeck's 1945 novel, "Cannery Row." The fishery industry crashed in the 1940s, and riding the book's popularity, Cannery Row became a tourist destination, with restaurants and hotels replacing the canneries.

The industry revived in the 1990s, when fisheries developed in Oregon and Washington waters. Today, there are about 100 boats with permits to fish for sardines on the West Coast, about half the number during the heyday. Much of the catch, landed from Mexico to British Columbia, is exported to Asia and Europe, where some is canned, and the rest goes for bait. West Coast landings have risen from a value of $1.4 million in 1991 to a peak of $21 million in 2012, but are again declining.

"The industry survives fishing on a complex," of species, said Diane Pleschner-Steele, director of the California Wetfish Producers Association, which represents 63 California-based fishing boats. "Sardines, up until this point, have been one very important leg of a three- or four-legged stool.... Now we don't have sardines. Our fleet is scrambling."

The latest estimates of how many Pacific sardines are schooling off Oregon, California and Washington have fallen below the mandatory cutoff line. The council cut harvests by two-thirds last year, and meets April 12 in Rohnert Park, California, to set the latest sardine harvest.

The conservation group Oceana is urging the council to immediately shut down sardine fishing, and not wait until the new season starts July 1. The group wants incidental catch limits set at zero, leaving as much food as possible in the ocean for sea lions and other wildlife, and speeding the rebuilding process for sardines.

Ben Enticknap of Oceana acknowledged that sardines naturally go through large population swings, but he argued that fishing since 2007 has exceeded their reproduction rate, exacerbating the numbers collapse.

"Previous stock assessments were way too optimistic and weren't matching up with what was observed on the water," Enticknap said. "The sea lions and sea birds have been starving since 2013, pelicans since 2010. Everyone knew something was going on because there wasn't enough food to eat for these predators. Now this stock assessment comes out saying that the sardine population is much lower than they had previously expected."

David Crabbe, a squid fishing boat owner and council member, said he would expect the council to allow incidental catch to reduce the impact on the fleet.

The latest stock assessments vary between 133,000 metric tons, and 97,000 metric tons, both below the 150,000 metric tons cutoff, and less than 10 percent of the 2006 peak of 1.4 million metric tons.

The stock assessment is conducted by boat. As the research boats cruise the water, an acoustic signal is emitted, which bounces back with information on what kinds and how many fish are nearby. Stock assessors also estimate how many sardine eggs are floating in the water, and how many sardines are spawning off California, said Kerry Griffin, a staff officer for the council.

Fishermen are unhappy with the stock assessments, Pleschner-Steele said. They say the acoustic gear is too deep in the water and misses fish on the surface, where they feed.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Feds-likely-to-shut-down-sardine-fishing-on-West-Coast-298674491.html?m=y&smobile=y&clmob=y&c=n
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« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2015, 06:51:30 am »

Food prices to rise as California water restrictions cause farmer cutbacks

As California’s multi-year drought rages on, consumers in the rest of the United States may soon be feeling the pinch at the grocery store as farmers around California reduce water and plant fewer crops.

California, sometimes called the ‘nation’s salad bowl’, is the country’s largest producer of grapes, kiwis, olives, avocados, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, tree nuts and dairy. Now in the fourth year of a massive drought ‒ and facing only a year’s worth of water remaining in the state ‒ food prices in the US and agricultural unemployment in California are set to climb as farmers do what they can to conserve water and protect their investments.

“Farms and agriculture are prospering and they could go out of business next year,” Joe De Bosque, a farmer in California’s Central Valley, told RT. “How many businesses do you know that are prospering and profitable that go out of business? None! It’s going to happen in California, I guarantee you! If we have no water next year it’s gonna happen! Successful farms are gonna go out of business!”

De Bosque has employed new irrigation techniques in an effort to save water, as 3 million acres of land go unplanted.

“Since we've changed to drip irrigation we actually produce 30 percent more crop with 30 percent less water,” he said. “It’s not necessarily how much can we make per acre, it’s how much can we make with an acre-foot of water.”



 Cannon Michael, a farmer in the Central Valley, left more than 1,000 acres of land unplanted this season to try and conserve water, he told Ensia. The fallow fields amount to about 10 percent of the 10,500 irrigated acres that make up his farm, Bowles Farming Company.

In the spring of 2014, Michael and some of his neighbors on the west side of the valley who still had some water implemented conservation measures and fallowed land early in last year’s season. Their actions allowed them to make 13,500 acre-feet (4.4 billion gallons) of water, from a reservoir known as Millerton Lake, available to east-side farmers who had been cut off. And they did so at an affordable price ‒ $250 an acre-foot ‒ rather than the $1,000 to $2,000 per acre-foot that water was trading for on the open market.

“We saw an opportunity to transfer some water to our neighbors who were struggling,” Michael said.

Yet Big Agriculture was largely spared from the mandatory water restrictions that California Governor Jerry Brown (d) issued on Wednesday, the first in the state’s history. While cities and towns are required to cut water usage by 25 percent, the agriculture industry merely has to report more information about their use of water.

But even a significant drop in residential water use will not move the consumption needle nearly as much as even a small reduction by farmers, the LA Times reported. Of all the surface water consumed in the state, roughly 80 percent is earmarked for the agricultural sector.

“The big question is agriculture, and there are difficult trade-offs that need to be made,” said Katrina Jessoe, assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at the University of California, Davis

Farmers aren’t the only people affected by the water restrictions.

Tractor dealer Steve Malanca is struggling because, right now, no one wants a five-year, $300,000 loan to buy a tractor, he told RT.

“All of us are being affected,” he said. “There’s an irrigation company that supplies irrigation equipment, there are tractor dealerships, there’s car dealerships selling cars to the farmers. Everybody is affected without exception... when the farmer is making money.”

Mayor Robert Silva of Mendota, in the heart of the agricultural Central Valley, told the LA Times that unemployment among farmworkers had soared as the soil turned to crust and farmers left half or more of their fields fallow. Many people are traveling 60 or 70 miles to look for work, Silva said, and families are increasingly relying on food donations.

“You can’t pay the bills with free food,” he said. “Give me some water, and I know I can go to work, that’s the bottom line.”

Some people suggest that farmers switch from animal agriculture to crops.

“Animal agriculture uses more water for drinking and growing food for feed than even the thirstiest vegetable crops. California would realize gargantuan water savings if more crops were fed directly to people instead of being wastefully diverted to the production of meat, dairy and eggs,” Deborah W. Elliott wrote in a letter to the editor of the LA Times. “All we have to do is alter our habits and incentivize the growing of vegetable and fruit crops.”

Farmers like De Bosque, however, propose a temporary increase in pumping when rains come, so farmers can put the rain in the bank and use it in the hot summer instead of turning to other methods.

http://rt.com/usa/247289-california-drought-restrictions-affect-agriculture/
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2015, 08:53:11 am »

Canadian Beef Prices Up 18% In Past Year, And No Relief In Sight

Canada’s core inflation rate jumped 2.2 per cent in March, according to Statistics Canada, but that number obscures an ugly reality for many shoppers: Meat prices are soaring.

Beef prices were up 18 per cent in March compared to the same month a year earlier, StatsCan data shows, while pork prices are nearly 12 per cent higher than they were a year ago, thanks to a virus that has killed millions of piglets in recent years.

Chicken prices were up a comparably tame 5 per cent, but that’s still higher than the overall rise in food costs, of 3.8 per cent over the past year.

But the worst is yet to come, at least for beef, say industry analysts. Cattle populations are low, demand has held up surprisingly well despite the price hikes, and North American beef prices are higher for Canadians thanks to a low loonie, according to industry website Grainews.

It notes that Canadian beef production is 2 per cent lower than it was a year ago, though U.S. production is at similar levels to or higher than last year. Industry analysts had expected a decline, largely due to the fact that ranchers have been culling cattle in recent years, thanks to high feed prices.

Food industry analyst Kevin Grier told the Globe and Mail that for these reasons Canadians can expect to see prices keep rising.

“You can expect more of the same, only worse,” he said.

Grier noted the departure of Target Canada has taken some pressure off food retailers and there are fewer price wars taking place.

But the good news is that some of what Canadian consumers have lost to food prices has been recouped through lower energy bills.

Gas prices were down by 19.2 per cent in March from a year earlier, and analysts don’t see them rising much in the near future.

According to a Canadian Automobile Association spokesperson, Canadians could see the lowest gas prices since 2010 this summer.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/04/20/beef-meat-prices-canada-inflation_n_7101174.html
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