October 23, 2016

Report Links Climate Change and Food Insecurity

A new report released by Center for Food Safety's Cool Foods Campaign states that food security is jeopardized by climate change. The report is called Food and Climate: Connecting the Dots, Choosing the Way Forward. Climate change creates extremes in weather, from temperatures that are much hotter and cooler than normal, and rain and snow amounts that are much lower or greater than normal. In 2012, for instance, droughts and heat waves affected 80% of agricultural land, causing $30 billion in damages. California is now experiencing its worst drought in its 153 year history. That state produces almost half of the country's fruits and vegetables. Food prices are expected to rise significantly this year as a result of this climate catastrophe. Climate change is also causing earlier … [Read more...]

Drought Intensifies, Drives Up Food Prices

Drought conditions continue worsen through the central plains states. While farmers have been dealing for months with the impact of little or no rain, consumers will begin feeling the impact by the end of the month. More than three quarters of the contiguous US is now experiencing some kind of drought, compared with about 43 percent during the same week last year, according to the US Drought Monitor. The winter wheat crop is at a record low and it’s the smallest corn harvest in six years. Corn is used as feed for livestock and as an ingredient in many foods. A shortage of the crop will drive up meat and grocery prices. Over the last week, more of Kansas was downgraded to the worst drought category, Exceptional Drought. A tiny portion in the southeastern part of the state is the only … [Read more...]

US Drought 2012 Impact on Food Prices

The USDA has issued projections on the effect of the drought on food prices in the U.S. The report begins, "the most severe and extensive drought in at least 25 years is seriously affecting U.S. agriculture, with impacts on the crop and livestock sectors and with the potential to affect food prices at the retail level." As of mid-August 2012, 60% of the farms in the United States were experiencing drought, with 28% experiencing "extreme or exceptional drought." The drought will destroy or damage a portion of the field corn crop in a number of states. The farm price of corn has already increased and this will affect the price of other crops. The earliest effects will be on pork, beef, poultry, and dairy, especially fluid milk. Drought conditions may lead to herd culling because of higher … [Read more...]

Consumers Will Feel Drought’s Impact In Their Wallets

Drought that wiped out crops throughout the Midwest during the summer of 2012  will drive up grocery bills in 2013, according to a report from the Food Institute. On average, a family of four can expect to pay an extra $6.75 each week or about $351 more for the year. The U.S. Drought Monitor, which measures conditions weekly,  breaks drought intensity into five categories: abnormally dry, moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought. For the week of September 11, 2013, 78.5 percent of the contiguous U.S. was somewhere on that spectrum, compared with 43.5 percent during the same week of 2012.  And 64 percent of the country was experiencing moderate to exceptional drought conditions, compared with 30 percent the previous year. Farmers have already … [Read more...]

USDA To Purchase $170 Million Of Meat From Drought-Stricken Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will purchase $170 million from farmers and ranchers affected by the drought, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack  announced  today. The pork, lamb, chicken, and catfish will be used in for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks. "These purchases will assist pork, catfish, chicken and lamb producers who are currently struggling due to challenging market conditions and the high cost of feed resulting from the widespread drought. The purchases will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions, and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition programs," Vilsack said in statement. Of the $170 million purchase, about $100 million will go to pork products, about $50 million in … [Read more...]

USDA Designates More Drought Disaster Areas, Announces New Assistance Efforts

Two measures announced today by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack are meant to bring relief to farmers and ranchers nationwide as drought conditions have now caused more than half of all counties to be declared disaster areas. After adding  218 counties in 12 states to the list of designated disaster areas, Vilsack announced two new ways that farmers and ranchers could seek relief. The first is a 3.8 million-acre expansion of emergency haying and grazing areas on conservation land. The second is a 30-day grace period that crop insurance companies have agreed to to extend to farmers on their premiums. "The assistance announced today will help U.S. livestock producers dealing with climbing feed prices, critical shortages of hay and deteriorating pasturelands. … [Read more...]

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