August 22, 2012
Tags: agriculture, Drought, natural disaster, United States
Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
“Although the United States remains the breadbasket of the world, a drought, heat wave, or changing weather patterns in the U.S, could have devastating effects throughout the global food supply.”
-Jim Bakker in “Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse”
Surveys of American agriculture released Tuesday showed higher than expected crop damage driving commodity prices to record highs.
Corn jumped 1.7% to $8.39 a bushel while soybeans finished up 2.8% at $17.30 a bushel. In the last three months, corn prices have jumped 68%. Soybeans have jumped 39%.
The annual Pro Farmer Midwest Tour reported that crops in Ohio and Indiana were far below normal and that South Dakota crops were “stunningly low.” The estimates were significantly lower than estimates released last week by the USDA showing sharper than expected supply declines.
Over half the corn crop is labeled “poor or very poor” compared to 15% last year.
The news of the serious shortage is causing concern around the world of food riots in nations that are dependent on the United States to provide corn, wheat and soy.
Food riots in Africa were prevalent in 2008 and 2010 due to lower than expected supplies but prices of food were climbing even before the news of the United States shortfall. In South Africa, corn was up 40% this year before the news of the US crop.
One analyst said the food riots could end up “on a par with the Arab Spring.” Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Systems Institute told reporters that “widespread social disruption occurs” when people are unable to feed themselves and their families.
According to OxFam, just a 1% increase in the cost of food in a developing nation results in 16 million more people descending into poverty.