Trouble is brewing for farmers in the United States located in the “corn belt.” Corn is fed to the animals much of the country consumes, so without it, we are staring a food crisis right in the face.
Corn planting is already behind on schedule. The weather in the United States has made farming difficult as of late, while bankruptcies soar and flooding continues. As the weather in four of the top six states for corn production couples with the skyrocketing number of bankruptcies of American farmers, we could be on the precipice of a food crisis. And to make matters worse, none of the weather is expected to improve, putting even more financial pressure on the already stressed farmers according to the latest Crop Progress report is issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to an AccuWeather analysis.
The four states significantly behind on schedule are Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and South Dakota; and they are expected to remain that way, according to AccuWeather meteorologists who have been analyzing the data. Those four states combined to produce nearly 40% of the corn in the U.S. If the weather continues a wet pattern through late May, consumer prices could go up this summer. Iowa and Nebraska, the other two states among the top six corn producers, are also behind, albeit, only slightly behind, according to data from the USDA.
“The question will be how much farther it will fall behind the pace,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls. “It’s about a week behind schedule right now. If it were to go to a week and a half or two weeks, that’s big news. Most of the problems are because of consistent rains, plus there is also rain in the forecast,” Nicholls said. “Of the two key producing states, Iowa isn’t too bad, but Illinois is way off schedule.”
By this time of year, 43% of corn crops would already be planted in Illinois, according to the five-year average provided by the USDA. However, just 9% has been planted so far. Iowa averages 26% of crops planted at this point, and 21% has been planted so far.
Three of the other top corn producers are lagging behind this season so far. Minnesota (2% of corn crops planted by now compared to its five-year average of 24%), Indiana (2% compared to 17%) and South Dakota (0% compared to 17%) are also well off pace. –AccuWeather
“We think one of the weeks in late May will end up being drier, maybe at the end of the month,” Nicholls added. “But the week of May 6-12 looks pretty wet and May 13-19 doesn’t look good either.”
This could be the beginning of what amounts to a food crisis. Although most don’t see a “run on the grocery stores” happening, we’ll see higher prices at the pump (corn is used for ethanol) and less choice at our stores with a higher price tag on those things available.
If you can, now would be a great time to learn to grow your own food or raise your own meet. Obviously, not everyone can own a cow, but if you can grow some vegetables, you’ll be slightly ahead of those who cannot if the food crisis smacks us all upside the heads.