Food doesn’t just magically show up at the grocery store. If farmers and ranchers do not produce it, we do not eat. I know that I have been writing about the rapidly growing global food crisis a lot lately, but that is because this really is a big deal. All over the globe, agricultural production is going to be below expectations in 2022. As a result, those of us that live in wealthy countries will pay much more for food in 2023, while many of those that live in poor countries will either deeply suffer or die. In fact, children are already dropping dead from starvation in large numbers in some parts of Africa, but most Americans haven’t heard about this because they aren’t showing it on the news.
Of course this isn’t just a crisis for poor countries on the other side of the planet.
Here in the United States, the food that is not being grown in 2022 will cause immense economic pain in 2023.
There are 17 western states that collectively produce almost half of our food, and right now those 17 states are being absolutely devastated by the worst multi-year megadrought in 1,200 years…
The 17 states including and north of Texas, up along the Central Plains to North Dakota and west to California are vital to the U.S. agricultural sector, supporting nearly half of the nation’s $364 billion production by value. This includes 74% of beef cattle, responsible (in total) for 18% of U.S. agricultural production by value; 50% of dairy production, responsible (in total) for 11% of U.S. agricultural production by value, over 80% of wheat production by value and over 70% of vegetable, fruit and tree nut production by value. Drought conditions, which have persisted well into 2022, put production of these commodities at risk, along with the stability of farms, ranches and local economies reliant on crops, livestock and downstream products and services for income.
The American Farm Bureau Federation wanted to know how farmers in that half of the nation are faring during this drought, and so they conducted a survey.
And what they discovered is extremely alarming. Here is one example…
This year’s drought conditions are taking a harder toll than last year’s, as 37% of farmers said they are plowing through and killing existing crops that won’t reach maturity because of dry conditions.
Do you understand what that is saying?
37 percent of all farmers in the western half of the country are killing their own crops because those crops won’t even reach maturity because of the endless drought.