Friday, August 10, 2012
USDA: Corn estimates drop amid deepening drought
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A deepening drought in the nation's farm states has cut further into this fall's harvest, with farmers now expected to pull from their fields the lowest corn yield in more than a decade.
But American farmers are still expected to produce their eighth-largest harvest ever, and while there's sure to be a rise in prices at the grocery stores, there's little risk of a failed harvest that would lead to shortages on the shelves.
The U.S. Agriculture Department predicted the nation's biggest harvest ever in the spring, when farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn — the most since 1937. But it cut its estimate a month ago and again Friday, saying it now expects the nation to produce 10.8 billion bushels, the least since 2006.
If that estimate holds, the federal government says it will be enough to meet the world's needs and ensure there are no shortages. But experts say food prices will almost certainly climb as corn is a widely used ingredient found in everything from cosmetics to cereal, colas and candy bars.Has anyone yet suggested God is punishing us for our Muslim president. Just a matter of time.
Commodity prices aren't an interest of mine. Weather is. There's a lot of contradictory information being fed to the public about the drought, even from different Federal agencies. Food prices up (they are going up), meat prices down, at least temporarily. Enough corn for export, not enough corn. What if the drought continues through 2013? Or instead, there are ruinous rains & floods? Extreme weather seems to be becoming the norm. But there's nothing unusual about this summer in Jersey so far as I've observed. The winter was mild. We had a blizzard last October turned out to be our most significant snowfall of the season.
The better safe than sorry solution? Get rid of the Muslim president, elect a Mormon? Still not quite right given the de facto religion of the Republican base is fundamentalist Baptist. Mormon folklore has it that an enormous flock of seagulls saved them from starvation by eating the massive swarm of katydids devouring their crops in 1848. There's a famous seagull monument in Salt Lake City.