“It is no surprise to any of our readers that, to put it lightly, the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Gas prices, temperatures, and natural disasters are all on the rise. The Earth has a pretty clear carrying capacity that everyone in power chooses to ignore for the sake of convenience. Like it or not, we have to be prepared for the consequences of each action that our leaders don’t take.
If there are days when living off the grid seems a troublesome or exhausting task, it is important to remember that in addition to whichever individual factors caused your family to choose this lifestyle, you have chosen the most conscientious and reliable way to live in a future that is so marred by uncertainty. As the stability of crops sinks and prices rise accordingly, it is more important than ever that you are able to depend upon your family and your own efforts to feed, clothe, and power your daily needs.”
Monsanto drags over 400 U.S. farmers to court over GM seed patents: When will Big Ag’s corrupt reign end?
“Agri-giant Monsanto, not satisfied with being one of the world’s largest agricultural corporations, is dragging hundreds of U.S. farmers into court over alleged copyright violations for repeated usage of the company’s patented seeds.
In a case that has surprised a lot of observers, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear one of these complaints on Feb. 19. That case, Bowman v. Monsanto Co., was billed as a landmark battle pitting farmer Vernon Bowman against the international Ag-giant over the former’s repeated use of seeds he bought from Monsanto which the company says are only supposed to be used for one growing season.
In advance of the case, The Huffington Post reported, the Center for Food Safety and the Save Our Seeds campaigning organizations released a report detailing similar cases.”
Via Natural News
“Wheat rose in Chicago on a report that Ukraine confirmed a ban on exports of the grain after dry weather and accelerating demand cut supplies.
Shipments will be barred as of Nov. 15, Reuters reported today, citing Agriculture Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk. Exports may reach 5.3 million metric tons next month, a point that threatens to exhaust Ukraine’s exportable surplus, the government said Oct. 19. Drought may cut combined wheat harvests in Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan by 37 percent this year, helping send global stockpiles to a four-year low, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.
“The supply-and-demand balance is very tight,” Arnaud Saulais, a broker at Starsupply Commodity Brokers in Nyon, Switzerland, said by telephone. “Long term, we’re still in a situation that should keep prices high.” “
“U.S. corn and wheat stockpiles shrank far more this summer than grain markets thought, the government reported Friday, and corn prices soared on prospects that heavy demand and drought-decimated crops will keep markets tight.
Corn futures were limit up — at the daily ceiling — at $7.56-1/2 a bushel in Chicago at midday. “Synthetic” bids indicated corn was worth $7.59 a bushel.
Corn futures surged nearly 6% and hit the daily limit on the Chicago Board of Trade after the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported corn stocks on Sept. 1 were below 1 billion bushels for the first time in eight years. The surge in corn prices pulled up wheat and soybean prices, too, analysts said.
The worst U.S. drought in half a century has decimated crops, and tight supplies should keep commodity prices at record levels and boost prices at the grocery store.
USDA’s survey of farmers and warehouses showed 988 million bushels of corn on hand — 11% less than expected — on Sept. 1. That date is the start of the corn marketing year and the traditional low point for supplies, as it comes before this year’s harvest gets added to the stockpiles.”
Some U.S. farmers now feeding their cattle gummy worms, marshmallows, and ice cream sprinkles in response to skyrocketing feed costs
“The cost of genetically-modified (GM) corn and soy feed for conventional cattle is surging so high, and availability plunging so low, as a result of persistent drought conditions and resultant crop failures that conventional feedlot farmers are having to seek out less expensive and more plentiful alternatives. But such alternatives are not exactly the types of things you would typically expect a farmer to feed his animals: corn syrup-laden gummy worms, nutrient-devoid marshmallows, and chemical-laden ice cream sprinkles are among the many junk foods now being served to American cattle.
The Vancouver Sun reports via Reuters that a whole new “alternative” feed market is emerging out of the ongoing crop crunch, as farmers all across the U.S. are running out of common feed options for their herds. Because corn-based feeds are now too expensive or simply unavailable, feedlot operators in Indiana, North Dakota, and elsewhere are buying leftover candy scraps, pastries, extruded cereals, gummy snacks, and even food waste to feed to their cows, which end up directly fueling the production of conventional meat and dairy products sold nationwide to American consumers.
“Brokers are gathering up discarded food products and putting them out for the highest bid to feed lot operators and dairy producers, who are scrambling to keep their animals fed,” says Reuters. “In the mix are cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries. Cattlemen are feeding virtually anything they can get their hands on that will replace the starchy sugar content traditionally delivered to the animals through corn.”"
Via Natural News
“The worst drought in more than 50 years is having a devastating impact on the Mississippi River. The Mississippi has become very thin and very narrow, and if it keeps on dropping there is a very real possibility that all river traffic could get shut down. And considering the fact that approximately 60 percent of our grain, 22 percent of our oil and natural gas, and and one-fifth of our coal travel down the Mississippi River, that would be absolutely crippling for our economy. It has been estimated that if all Mississippi River traffic was stopped that it would cost the U.S. economy 300 million dollars a day. So far most of the media coverage of this historic drought has focused on the impact that it is having on farmers and ranchers, but the health of the Mississippi River is also absolutely crucial to the economic success of this nation, and right now the Mississippi is in incredibly bad shape. In some areas the river is already 20 feet below normal and the water is expected to continue to drop. If we have another 12 months of weather ahead of us similar to what we have seen over the last 12 months then the mighty Mississippi is going to be a complete and total disaster zone by this time next year.”
“The worst drought in the United States in a half a century has led to the destruction of roughly one-sixth of the expected corn crop in America over the past month and will likely lead to a significant rise in the price of corn in the very near future.
To make matters even worse, much of the corn crop in the United States is genetically modified and thus susceptible to so-called “superbugs” and is the same strain which has been banned in multiple countries in the European Union.
This July has been the hottest in American history and has caused major damage to the corn crops throughout the United States making some farmers actually entirely abandon fields greater in size than the nations of Belgium and Luxembourg.
Obviously such a major reduction in the corn supply will certainly lead to a rise in the price of corn; it is simple economics. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like such a surge would diminish any time soon.
Even more unfortunate is the fact that corn is not the only commodity which will be negatively impacted by this drought and heat wave.
Soybeans – which like corn is used in a wide variety of food products, animal feed and other products – also has been hit hard by the weather. It is likely that it will be the worst harvest for five years now and will also likely impact the prices of other processed goods due to the rise in the price of vegetable oil, which just happens to be made from soy.”
Via Activist Post
“Corn was already surging to new record highs before the USDA released the WASDE report this morning. With a consensus view of 10.929 billion bushels (compared to USDA’s prior 2012 estimates of 12.97 billion), the USDA’s 10.779 billion bushel forecast means a 17% slashing in harvest expectations. Crop conditions were the worst since 1988 with 69% of the Midwest in drought. Soybeans likewise were expected to show a 2.796 billion bushel production forecast (based on Bloomberg’s survey) which compares with the 3.05 billion prior forecast from USDA and just came 4% below expectations. Bloomberg notes: “The U.S. drought means that global corn supplies will be critically tight for the next year; Livestock and milk-product prices will have to rise to cover the increased feed costs. Eventually, global consumers will have to pay the bill.” It appears the algos were at play immediately after the report as prices surged (in corn) to $8.49 before falling rapidly back to $8.19, and are now up fractionally at $8.31. The biggest consequence is a heavier drag on any possibility of a sizable Chinese stimulus as food price inflation, as we noted last night, is set to stymie any flood of money. Wheat is down, Corn up a little, Soy up more.”
Via Zero Hedge
“Corn prices surged to a new record high Monday, as the worst drought in more than 50 years continues to plague more than half the country.
Almost 90% of the United States’ corn crops are in drought ravaged areas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and nearly 40% are situated in the hardest hit spots.
Corn prices have soared more than 50% during the past six weeks as the crops continue to shrivel in relentless dry heat throughout the Midwest. They jumped another 3% Monday to a record high of $8.17 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.
The Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN), which tracks a basket corn futures contracts, gained 2.5%.
Soybean prices, which are up more than 20% in recent weeks, also advanced. Prices rose 1% Monday to touch $16.17 per bushel, the highest since July 23. The Teucrium Soybean ETF (SOYB) gained more than 2%.”
Via CNN Money
“Food prices will race ahead faster than prices of other goods in the United States this year and next, due to the worst drought in more than a half a century, the government forecast on Wednesday.
Food prices rose 3.7 percent in 2011, and American consumers may pay 3.5 percent more at the grocery store this year, with higher prices for meat, poultry and fruit, as the drought gripping the U.S. farm belt drives up crop prices.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast that food prices would jump between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent in 2012 and then rise 3-4 percent in 2013.
“The drought is really going to hit food prices next year,” said Richard Volpe, a USDA economist, adding the pressure on food prices would start to build later this year.
“It’s already affecting corn and soybean prices, but then it has to work its way all the way through the system into feed prices and then animal prices, then wholesale prices and then finally, retail prices,” Volpe said.”
Via Yahoo News