Wet Midwest Poor Planting

We’ve seen this story on several channels. Some, like Ice Age Farmer, a bit more breathlessly than others.

Here, Subverse News has a more “sedate” look at the loss of planting and excess water in the Midwest of the USA. 13 minutes.

Mostly just folks looking grim with flooded land around them. Some talk of “relentless rains” and late planting with a cool fall coming so expecting poor yields.

Overall, the FDA (who many are NOT trusting) is looking at a 13% to 15% loss of crop; but they are also projecting fabulous yields per acre that folks “on the ground” are saying will just not be there.

Here’s IceAge Farmer talking about plant closings across the Midwest. I’m not so sure this is a big deal just due to folks generally moving facilities to lower cost zones further South and away from typically higher tax Northern locations. Could it be due to expectations of crop zone moving? Maybe. But I’d expect it to be more about Dollars than Degrees. 13 minutes:

Still, worth watching.

In any case, I think it is clear that the cooler weather the last year or two and the excess water, are causing “issues”.

I must also note that the Peach Cannery where I worked in the ’70s making money to pay for school, closed several decades ago. Nothing to do with cold weather, but a lot to do with cheaper peaches from other countries and low cost to haul the peaches to a newer cannery a bit further away. Plants age, and close, and are replaced. Weather changes or not. I doubt you can read climate change into plant changes.

Why can corn in high wage MidWest if you can move your operation to China or Brazil for cheaper? A whole lot of canned goods are showing up in Walmart with “Made In China” on them. You don’t need a cannery in Wisconsin if your import product from China for lower prices.

But regardless of cause, I think the fact that it is happening matters.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Wet Midwest Poor Planting

  1. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – Canned goods are approaching commodity status where they become essentially fungible across borders. It was particularly noticeable in ethnic grocery stores, but now it can be seen in my local grocery stores.

    Canned goods are coming from anywhere and everywhere. Just check the shelves at any grocery and you’ll find about every country represented and reasonable or very good prices. Mid-east fava beans are competing with Italian fava beans which are competing with US fava beans, and so on. For most canned goods, a disruption in one place doesn’t disrupt every place.

    Canned goods are long-dated, so if you’re in oversupply, just pack ’em up and ship them to a high demand place. And it seems that setting up a cannery is low tech enough that everyone can and is doing it, so the sellers of canned goods are competing on the global market. If there a bad harvest here, there’s a good harvest over somewhere else, so I’m not seeing an EOTWAWKI situation in canned goods.

    There is something to be said for weighing inventory movement against the added shipping costs, but there’s no arguing labor costs. If the upper Mid-west is getting too expensive, what’s the big deal to move your cannery from Nebraska or Minnesota to Mississippi or Louisiana?

    I’ve already reported that our region is going to be OK for winter wheat, beans, and feed grasses. As near as I can make out, corn has and will take a hit this year, but all we need to do is stop burning corn in our frickin’ gas tanks! and things should be OK.

    It seems likely that if we are going into a global cool-down period, crops everywhere will be negatively affected, but I expect that the disruption will be not too long term as farmers adjust to a shift in their local climate regime.

  2. H.R. says:

    H.R.: “[…] but I expect that the disruption will be not too long term as farmers adjust to a shift in their local climate regime.”

    (I couldn’t resist…) If the flooding keeps up, the farmers will all just switch to hydroponics.

  3. cdquarles says:

    Corn is a big crop here. Locally, the corn did fine. Likewise, the soybeans and hay did well also. Water year to date has been average to above average. It is dry season now, anyway. The usual August autumnal blast rolled through yesterday; though usually that happens mid month, not late month. Still, having one in July was relatively unusual, along with the 100F we got this year, too. Cotton bloomed nicely. That harvest is usually late Oct. through mid Nov. That said, we still can’t grow citrus outside of a greenhouse ;); and the banana trees are ornamental.

  4. Steve C says:

    We in the UK have been getting all the usual media stories of agricultural catastrophe whenever we have a few days of hotter/colder/wetter/drier/etc weather, or “normal British weather” as we natives call it. Happily, a look at https://www.fwi.co.uk/arable/harvest suggests that there’s not a lot to panic about, though obviously ups and downs as ever. As you say, everything’s global now, for good or ill, and it all averages out.

    A University friend, years ago, got a summer holiday job at a British cannery. He never ate canned food again after that summer. One of the few areas in which (having listened to his stories) I tend to support “Elf’n’Safety”!

  5. p.g.sharrow says:

    As Proto-Humans discovered a million years ago, it was better to be mobile, because the best food growing weather/local climate, moved from year to year, So you travel because available food moved from place to place. Today we have transportation that moves the food to the population all over the world. Poor growing in one district does not necessarily mean famine there.
    There is generally plenty of food to go around if it can. Government edicts are the cause of starvation and misery…pg

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