Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Extreme Drought Hits Much of US; Ranchers Sell Herds as Feed Costs Skyrocket
Townhall.com ^ | July 15, 2012 | Mike Shedlock

Posted on 07/15/2012 6:59:25 AM PDT by Kaslin

Edited on 07/15/2012 9:02:56 AM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

Corn, soybean and wheat prices have soared lately due to poor crop estimates amid extreme drought conditions in 26 states.

The blistering summer and ongoing drought conditions have the prompted the U.S. Agriculture Department to declare a federal disaster area in more than 1,000 counties covering 26 states. That's almost one-third of all the counties in the United States, making it the largest distaster declaration ever made by the USDA.


(Excerpt) Read more at finance.townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Front Page News
KEYWORDS: 2012; 2012drought; beef; corn; drought

1 posted on 07/15/2012 6:59:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Last year’s drought saw a mass pre-emptive harvest - our local supermarket was having BOGO steaks for weeks. We stocked up some, but have pretty much used them up. I plan to go out and restock sooner rather than later - this can’t be good for prices.


2 posted on 07/15/2012 7:03:25 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
It's not good. Some of the more historically stable areas are hurting bad this year. And very hot weather again this week.
Some nice rains yesterday in spots.
Some farmers have have gotten the spotty rains and will do very well.
3 posted on 07/15/2012 7:08:51 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland ("The writing is on the wall - Unions are screwed. reformist2 10:04 PM #27")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Sec Vilsack was just on CNN saying that there would be little effect on the price of meat and poultry since only a small amount of the price of commodities actually goes to the farmer.

He is clueless. While it is true that the farmer sees little of the price of beef or pork or chicken compared to the grocery store price, if the pastures have dried up and a hefty chunk of corn is going to make ethanol, the price to the farmer of corn and other grains can go sky high. The farmer then has the choice of paying the price or selling the livestock which we will see now and in the coming months as those trying to hang on, gradually give up.

Then after so many beef cattle have been slaughtered, it will take two years - after the corn emergency is over -to get the national herd back up to what it was and the price of beef back to where it was before the drought - or it will just stay high as we get used to the new normal.

Most of the USDA budget goes to food stamps (80%), so who cares about the farmers anyway. It’s not like they are important in any way. Everybody knows food comes from the grocery store.


4 posted on 07/15/2012 7:17:25 AM PDT by finnsheep
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I don’t think the second map is any more accurate than the first. I doubt we’ve had more than 1/16 of an inch of rain since mid May in south central Michigan. Lots of rain in some places here but just a few miles away, nuthin.

There’s plenty of water here but it needs to fall out of the sky rather than be pumped out of lakes, ponds, and streams.


5 posted on 07/15/2012 7:17:47 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Farming is one of the riskiest businesses out there. You can do everything in your power to control all the variables, except for the most important one, weather. Should be interesting to hear from the anti farming posters on this one.


6 posted on 07/15/2012 7:18:17 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Someone can correct me in this thought, that a problem with some modern hybrid corns is that they are not adapted for this type of thing, great disease resistance, not drought resistant? I like gardening with heirloom seeds and have a tendency to point the finger at modern corn seeds as an example of creating problems rather then the solution. The truth is that nothing is surviving it is so dry even the weeds are dying.
7 posted on 07/15/2012 7:24:10 AM PDT by dog breath
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: finnsheep

I’d like to see food stamps tied directly to the farmers by way of farmer’s markets. One good idea I see locally is double deals given by the local farmer’s market.

Up to $40 food stamps buys double the fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, and meat. They say its bringing in a surprising number of people who aren’t the typical food stamp crowd.

If it were up to me I would restrict food stamps so they wouldn’t buy crap like chips, candy, cake, soda etc.


8 posted on 07/15/2012 7:29:26 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Neoliberalnot

Fruit growers in Michigan are doing little more thinking about trimming trees and hoping for a better next year.

My granny tells me that a lot of them used to grow things like asparagus between the rows of trees for an early harvest but now most asparagus comes from Mexico.


9 posted on 07/15/2012 7:40:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Neoliberalnot

Fruit growers in Michigan are doing little more thinking about trimming trees and hoping for a better next year.

My granny tells me that a lot of them used to grow things like asparagus between the rows of trees for an early harvest but now most asparagus comes from Mexico.


10 posted on 07/15/2012 7:40:09 AM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Neoliberalnot

I don’t know about other states, but in CO farmers are not allowed to use aquifer/ground water, either. I live in this area, and our crawl spaces have sump pumps running, the water is just under the surface, but, illegal to access. Ridiculous.


11 posted on 07/15/2012 7:48:06 AM PDT by ican'tbelieveit (School is prison for children who have commited the crime of being born. (attr: St_Thomas_Aquinas))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Stock up on beef now.

It's going to get expensive later.

12 posted on 07/15/2012 7:49:54 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The Slave Party Switcheroo: Economic crisis! Zero's eligibility Trumped!! Hillary 2012!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Hmm, I remember FDR actually pushed for destroying crops and livestock to drive up prices. Wonder if dear leader looks at this the same way.


13 posted on 07/15/2012 8:00:33 AM PDT by RWB Patriot ("My ability is a value that must be purchased and I don't recognize anyone's need as a claim on me.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie

I was just looking at a mini chest freezer yesterday . . .

Might be time to clear out that footprint in the basement.


14 posted on 07/15/2012 8:58:09 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: dog breath
We've been having drought conditions in Northern Virginia. My lawn, which is a crumpled up amalgam of every plant that blows in on the wind, is still green. My neighbors finely manicured lawns are brown ~ you can see even the rhyzomes are dying back. Their trees are dropping leaves.

The difference is: Ta-ta-taa-daaaa ~ I never use insecticides. That way the giant fungus's that live under ground and suck sugar from oak and maple trees in the area are never injured. They continue to pump sugar and water to and fro ~ I don't think they have positive control on the osmotic pressure, but that's what they do.

My trees are green. My weeds are lush. The grass is bolting in the heat.

BTW, Roundup is not the problem ~ it doesn't kill the fungi ~ just certain broadleaf plants that'd take over and leave my lawn in patches of dirt and stuff.

All scientific!

15 posted on 07/15/2012 10:02:49 AM PDT by muawiyah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: dog breath

Actually, corn hybrids have become very specialized, adapted to specific conditions. There are definitely drought-resistant hybrids.

Left out of these sky-is-falling stories: a) record high world grain production, and b) ample ground water in much of the Corn Belt (once the leaf canopy is up, plants are much more drought resistant).

Funny, there wasn’t near as much alarm 10-12 years ago when prices were so low farmers got out of the business.


16 posted on 07/15/2012 11:53:53 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

I don’t suppose we could ever consider curtailing ethanol production temporarily or shipping less grain to foreign dictators to sell to their people at a profit.


17 posted on 07/15/2012 3:50:48 PM PDT by Aleya2Fairlie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: P.O.E.

The prediction I heard is that beef will hit $5 a pound in the grocery for burger, chuck roast, etc. as the standard price. Saw an article last week about a midwest farmer who has decided to let 1/3 of his crop die because of the drought. Figures he’ll do better trying to keep less of it alive. $10 corn is realistic.

It’s not to late to get a garden going with some things, and with good watering, it will do well. Canning, freezing, drying, and it’ll take the sting off this winter.


18 posted on 07/15/2012 6:26:35 PM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Ground Chuck @ Kroger was close to $5 a pound today. ($4.69 and higher) Don’t think I’ve ever seen it that high. I am surprised that the drought is affecting meat prices already, though.


19 posted on 07/15/2012 7:15:30 PM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: madison10

Went down the street to a local store and the ground beef was considerably less. Stocked up. (I was still in shock from the $5 price @ Kroger) Kroger, being a nation-wide chain and all, may be taking advantage of the situation, maybe not.


20 posted on 07/15/2012 7:21:11 PM PDT by madison10
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

“If it were up to me I would restrict food stamps so they wouldn’t buy crap like chips, candy, cake, soda etc.”

Never. It’s far too logical.


21 posted on 07/15/2012 8:52:59 PM PDT by SatinDoll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: xzins

I live in southwest Washington State and the weather here has been colder and wetter than usual.

My tomatoe plants have flowers and wimpy green leaves. I suspect this may be a “Year of the Green Tomatoes”.

Bell peppers are doing OK, as are all the herb plants, except for basil.

Haven’t seen it this bad in decades though the lawn sure loves it.


22 posted on 07/15/2012 8:58:38 PM PDT by SatinDoll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: RWB Patriot

“Hmm, I remember FDR actually pushed for destroying crops and livestock to drive up prices. Wonder if dear leader looks at this the same way.”<<<<

Supply and demand, The supply outweighed the demand at that point. (allegedly)..


23 posted on 07/15/2012 9:19:13 PM PDT by DirtyHarryY2K (The Tree of Liberty is long overdue for its natural manure)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: xzins

Relevant quotes:

Cattle markets remained on the defensive last week as heat, drought and waning consumer demand continue to take a toll on prices.

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Post-holiday-blues-for-cattle-beef-markets-162527926.html?ref=926

Ranchers are rushing to sell off some of their cattle as the worst drought in nearly 25 years dries up pastures, thins hay supplies and sends feed costs sky-rocketing.

.....

He got $100 per head less than he did a month ago as the high cost of feed has spooked away potential buyers

.......

There has been a big jump in the number of cows slaughtered in the United States. Cows are critical to growing the beef herd, fewer cows means fewer beef cattle later. In the week ending June 30, 52,700 cows were slaughtered, 3 percent more than a year ago during the peak of the Plains drought, USDA data showed.

“We’re just going to get down to tiny, tiny amounts of beef available per person in the country,” said Chris Hurt, agriculture economist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

http://www.cattlenetwork.com/cattle-news/latest/Ranchers-cull-cattle-as-drought-shrivels-crops-pasture-162538046.html


24 posted on 07/16/2012 4:03:30 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: xzins

“Saw an article last week about a midwest farmer who has decided to let 1/3 of his crop die because of the drought. Figures he’ll do better trying to keep less of it alive.”

I’ve seen entire crops left to waste in a marginal year for the crop insurance.


25 posted on 07/16/2012 4:28:43 AM PDT by Rebelbase (The most transparent administration ever is clear as mud.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: dog breath

Someone can correct me in this thought, that a problem with some modern hybrid corns is that they are not adapted for this type of thing, great disease resistance, not drought resistant? I like gardening with heirloom seeds and have a tendency to point the finger at modern corn seeds as an example of creating problems rather then the solution. The truth is that nothing is surviving it is so dry even the weeds are dying.””

Ok, you stand corrected, since may of the modern hybrids are in fact, more drought resistant and disease resistant. I have nothing against heirloom seeds—some of them produce excellent fruit, but others readily succumb to many pests and fungi, that today’s hybrids resist. I find that plant scientists have for the most part done a good job. Most heirloom seeds are in fact hybrids themselves, just very old hybrids. The yields on modern hybrids far surpass those of old. Again, there is nothing evil or wrong with plant science.


26 posted on 07/16/2012 6:34:08 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: muawiyah

Roundup is not the problem ~ it doesn’t kill the fungi ~ just certain broadleaf plants that’d take over and leave my lawn in patches of dirt and stuff.””

Small correction: Roundup is a burn-down herbicide, that is, it is non-specific in targeting weeds, it kills them all, except for some emerging resistant ones. It will kill your grass too, unless you have round-up resistant varieties. 2,4-D is a broadleaf herbicide.


27 posted on 07/16/2012 6:38:17 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Neoliberalnot

That is true, my bias toward some of the current corns comes from the inability to grow them from saved seed and the introduction of new genetic material into corn. Without the modern hybrids yields would be at less then half of what they are today, plant science does feed the world. I just want to blame the overdevelopement of the hybrids for a loss in general adaptability. It was a very thin line of argument at best. Currently I am growing in my garden some saved seed derived from a base of Bloody Butcher corn and it is surviving the heat with a little care. The squirrels like it.


28 posted on 07/16/2012 6:51:43 AM PDT by dog breath
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: dog breath

Send me some Bloody Butcher seed.

As far as field corn, the hybrids today have double the yield of those from yesteryear. I have raised thousands of acres of corn, grew up farming and still farm. This goes way beyond a little patch in the back yard. Plant technology is no more evil than any other contemporary technology. Should we be communicating between a line strung between two cans or, perhaps we should mount a horse and meet up in a distant town. Think about it.


29 posted on 07/16/2012 7:24:42 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson