The worst drought to hit U.S. cropland in more than half a century could soon leave Americans reaching deeper into their pockets to pay for meat, poultry and pork. Bob Goldin of Chicago-based food industry research and consulting firm Technomic:
“The USDA is now predicting food prices will be up 3.5 to 4.5, a full point from where they were pre-drought.”
Drought-decimated fields have pushed grain prices sky high, and the rising feed costs have prompted some livestock producers to liquidate their herds.
The grip drought in has loosened in the Midwest this past week, helped by rain and cooler temperatures, largely due to Isaac. Mark Svoboda a climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center says Issac is bringing the drenching rains needed to get down deep.
“We will see a good steady dose of rainfall.”
The relief came along the Mississippi Valley and the Midwest.
But, it’s a little too late when it comes to beef cattle in particular, many herds have been liquidated or severely reduced already. there’s no chance to make a corn crop this year, but the soybean crop could recover, some, which could be of benefit to poultry and pork.
Water May be Limiting Factor in Food Production
All of us may be forced to become vegetarians this century, according to scientists at the Stockholm International Water Institute.
In a report issued this week, Sweden’s water scientists said, "There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations."
Animal-based foods currently make up about 20 percent of humans daily protein intake. But the Swedish report says the world’s population will have to cut that figure to 5 percent by 2050 to accommodate the planet’s "considerable regional water deficits."
Retailers See Upswing in Sales
Some of the nation's biggest merchants say shoppers did buy at their stores this month. Costco, Target and Limited Brands all say revenue beat expectations for August. CBS Moneywatch-dot-com Editor-at-Large Jill Schlesinger…
“Some of the back to school sales are helping retailers and we know that people are feeling slightly more upbeat about the economy because they are willing to open up their wallets.”
Foreign U.S. Grains Customers Raise Questions Amidst Drought
The reality of the drought has finally hit – and U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Tom Sleight says the Council has been hearing from foreign customers of U.S. grains almost daily. As the days, weeks and months have gone by this summer as the drought has progressed – Sleight says the main question from customers is will the U.S. be able to provide?…
“What is it going to look like. What is happening with prices. A lot of concern from top customers, Japan and Korea are topping that list. Around the world, there is concern over demand destruction where, for instance in North Africa, a key market for a lot of US crops, where they are cutting back on poultry flocks, that is the sort of thing that is happening out there.”