“It’s A Disaster Like I’ve Never Seen Before”: 2019 Could Be The Worst Year EVER For U.S. Corn Farmers

The amount of corn produced in the United States this year is going to be way below expectations.  The Department of Agriculture just slashed its harvest estimates quite dramatically in its June report, but some farmers in the Midwest believe that those reduced projections are still way too optimistic.  As I have previously detailed, millions upon millions of acres will go unplanted this year, but that is only part of the story.  Much of the corn that has actually been planted is coming up very slowly due to the exceedingly poor conditions, and corn farmers all over the Midwest are reporting that their plants look absolutely terrible.  If we get picture perfect weather between now and harvest time, this will simply be a terrible year.  But if severe heat and/or an early frost hits the Midwest, this could very easily be the worst year that we have ever seen for corn farmers in the United States.

The other day, Illinois farmer James McCune gathered a large number of his fellow corn farmers for a “Prevent Plant Party”, and the mainstream media showed up to cover it.  The following is from CNBC’s coverage of the event

James McCune, a farmer from Mineral, Illinois, was unable to plant 85% of his intended corn acres and wanted to commiserate with his fellow farmers by hosting the “Prevent Plant Party” at The Happy Spot. He invited them to swap stories while tucking in to fried chicken and a keg of beer in Deer Grove, a village of about 50 people located 120 miles west of Chicago.

“Everybody’s so down in the dumps,” McCune said.

In addition, McCune told Fox Business that this year is “a disaster like I’ve never seen before”, and he said that some of his neighbors got even less corn planted than he did…

“It’s a disaster like I’ve never seen before,” McCune told FOX Business. “My neighbors didn’t get 90 percent of their corn planted.”

After non-stop rain plagued the region this spring – when corn farmers typically get seed in the ground – most have decided time is now too short and are choosing not to plant.

As bad as things are in Illinois right now, the truth is that some neighboring states are in even worse shape.

According to the latest Department of Agriculture report, 73 percent of the cornfields in Illinois have been planted, but in Indiana that figure is sitting at just 67 percent and in Ohio only 50 percent of the fields have been planted.

50 percent.

That is an unmitigated disaster, because the time for planting corn has now passed.

Needless to say, the farmers that were not able to plant crops have been absolutely flooding their insurance companies with claims.  Just check out this quote

“We get pockets of claims every year,” said Luke Sandrock of the Cornerstone Agency insurance company. “We have 1-2 percent of our clients (who typically file). This year, it’s over 90 percent, and so we’ve just never dealt with it on this size of a scale before.”

But it is imperative to remember that even if farmers were able to get their fields planted, that does not mean that everything is going to be okay.

In fact, corn farmers all over the Midwest are deeply distressed by what is emerging from the ground.  In his entire farming career, James McCune has never seen anything like this

A smartphone could fit in the space between James McCune’s index finger and thumb as the Illinois farmer describes the height of crops stunted by incessant rain and unseasonably cool weather.

“Corn’s not supposed to be this tall” in mid-June, McCune, who can trace his family’s farm roots as far back as 1857, said. “It’s supposed to be this tall,” as he gestures just below his waist.

And farmer Rob Sharkey used the word “ugly” to describe the condition of the corn on his farm

“We planted some stuff that was not pretty,” said corn farmer Rob Sharkey. “But I didn’t have a choice. We did not get conditions that were right for planting, so we went when we could. It’s ugly.”

We’ll see what happens, but right now we are facing an unprecedented nightmare in the heartland of America.

It is exceedingly difficult to grow corn in soil that is absolutely saturated with water.  Some farmers are saying that it is literally going to take “years” to recover from this disaster, and many will never be able to go back to farming again because they have been financially ruined.

Of course there are many farmers that are doing their very best to soldier on, but it is tough.  Illinois farmer Mike Thacker was able to get 60 percent of his fields planted, but at this point he is not happy with a single field

Mike Thacker, a farmer in Walnut, Illinois, planted about 1,600 acres of corn, or 60% of what he planned. He is reluctant to plant more because yields typically decline the later a crop is planted.

Thacker said corn that has started emerging from the ground is shorter than normal. He was not happy with even one field.

“It makes you feel terrible,” Thacker said at the party.

But like I said earlier, if the weather is ideal between now and harvest time, 2019 will just be a terrible year.

However, a major heat wave this summer would be absolutely catastrophic, and if there is an early frost it “will turn this world upside down”

Farmers think more cuts are likely as the late-planted crop could face damage from hot summer weather and an autumn frost.

“An early frost will turn this world upside down,” Rock Katschnig, a farmer from Prophetstown, Illinois, said at the party.

So much of the corn that has been planted is way, way behind schedule, and so many Midwest farmers will push things for as long as possible when we get to harvest time.

But an early snap of cold weather could ruin those plans.

In any event, in the short-term U.S. consumers are going to be facing significantly higher prices at the grocery store.  Beyond that, we could potentially be facing the sorts of scenarios that most people don’t like to think about.

For the moment, more rain continues to hammer the middle of the country.  In fact, there was more flash flooding in the Midwest on Saturday

The combination of two different frontal boundaries caused severe weather and flash flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest on Saturday. There were over 130 reports of severe weather, including 17 reported tornadoes and numerous reports of straight-line winds of 70 to 80 mph across parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

Sadly, even more “heavy rain” is on the way, and some areas could see over 4 inches of precipitation early in the week…

Heavy rain is expected through Tuesday from Texas to Pennsylvania, with locally over 4 inches of rain expected and flash flooding in spots — especially parts of hard-hit Oklahoma and Arkansas.

I have been repeatedly writing about this crisis for the last couple of months, and now the mainstream media is finally starting to grasp the true gravity of this disaster.

In all of U.S. history we have never witnessed anything like this ever before.  We have seen endless rain and catastrophic flooding month after month so far in 2019, and the middle of the country is still getting pummeled at this moment.

Nobody knows exactly what the weather will look like during the critical summer months, but I have a feeling that the end result of this crisis will be far worse than any of the “experts” were anticipating.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

American Soil Is Being Globalized: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland Is Now Owned By Foreigners

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests.  So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”.  When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities.  But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen.  And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country?  There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed.  Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres.  The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state.  Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins, “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

But even in states where there are restrictions, foreign entities can get around that by simply buying large corporations that own land.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 they instantly gained control over 146,000 acres of prime farmland.  The following comes from Wikipedia

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world.[4] In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs.[5] Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6] Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion.[2] Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.[7]

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value.[8][9] It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.[10] The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in Luohe, Henan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.[a]

Of course this hasn’t happened by accident.

The communist Chinese government has actually made the purchase of foreign agricultural assets a top national priority in recent years, and this has been reflected in a series of key documents

The strategy is reflected in encouragements to invest abroad by various documents and articles issued by Chinese leaders. For example, a series of annual “Number one documents” from China’s communist party authorities stating rural policy have contained increasingly specific strategies for investment. A general exhortation to invest in agriculture overseas, issued in 2007, was followed by an initial surge in overseas farming ventures. In 2010, authorities called for supportive policies to encourage investment abroad.

The 2014 document included a more specific mandate to create large grain-trading conglomerates, designed to give Chinese companies greater control over oilseed and grain imports. That was the same year COFCO acquired Nidera and Noble Agri, making COFCO one of the largest trading companies in the world based on value of assets. The 2015 document specifically called for policies to support facilities, equipment, and inputs for agricultural production in foreign countries. The 2017 document broadened the encouragement to include all types of agricultural conglomerates. The 2018 document repeated the general endorsement of overseas investment and instructions to create multinational grain-trading and agricultural conglomerates.

In the end, how much Chinese ownership of our farmland would we be comfortable with?

If they owned 20 percent of our farmland, would we be okay with that?

Well, what if that figure surged to 30 or 40 percent?

Would that still be okay?

We need to start asking these sorts of questions, because foreigners are buying up more of our farmland with each passing day, and this is a very real national security threat.

And after this absolutely disastrous year, thousands more U.S. farmers will be forced out of business and it is anticipated that more U.S. farmland will be up for sale than ever before.

I extensively discussed the problems that farmers in the middle of the country are currently having yesterday, and today I would like to share with you a portion of an email that a friend in Missouri just sent me…

I work for a farmer in West-Central Missouri who raises corn, soybeans, and cattle and to say it’s been a challenging Spring would be the understatement of the year!!! We managed to get some corn planted in April but it started to rain and rain and rain and we still have more corn to plant. My boss doesn’t like to plant corn after May 15 and here it is May 27 and we still are not done planting corn. With each late day that passes by the yield goes down so what do you do??? Do we start planting soybeans if or when it dries up even though the price of soybeans is at a record low or do we plant corn that has risen in price but will have a reduced yield??? From April 28 through today (May 27) we have had 10 inches of rain. One day we had 4.5 inches with roads and basements flooded. Last week we had rain 4 out of those 7 days!!! It’s raining again today as I write this!!! We need warm, sunshine, dry, windy days and we get mostly cool, cloudy, rainy days. Next Thursdays low is supposed to be 57!!! If the weather pattern doesn’t change I don’t see how we can ever get the soybeans planted and we have 1,300 acres to plant. There are large farmers in my area that don’t have anything planted.

This truly is a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Farm bankruptcies are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession, and do we really want foreigners gobbling up even more of our farmland from farmers that are incredibly desperate to sell?

Our founders never intended for America to be for sale to the highest bidder, and hopefully more states will start passing laws that will make sure that U.S. farms stay in the hands of U.S. farmers.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

 

Crop Catastrophe In The Midwest – Latest USDA Crop Progress Report Indicates That A Nightmare Scenario Is Upon Us

The last 12 months have been the wettest in all of U.S. history, and this has created absolutely horrific conditions for U.S. farmers.  Thanks to endless rain and historic flooding that has stretched on for months, many farmers have not been able to plant crops at all, and a lot of the crops that have actually been planted are deeply struggling.  What this means is that U.S. agricultural production is going to be way, way down this year.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are deeply alarming, and they should serve as a wake up call for all of us.  The food that each one of us eats every day is produced by our farmers, and right now our farmers are truly facing a nightmare scenario.

You can view the latest USDA crop progress report right here.  According to that report, corn and soybean production is way behind expectations.

Last year, 78 percent of all corn acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number is sitting at just 49 percent.

And the percentage of corn that has emerged from the ground is at a paltry 19 percent compared to 47 percent at this time last year.

We see similar numbers when we look at soybeans.

Last year, 53 percent of all soybean acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number has fallen to 19 percent.

And the percentage of soybeans that have emerged from the ground is just 5 percent compared to 24 percent at this time last year.

In other words, we are going to have a whole lot less corn and soybeans this year.

Farmers in the middle of the country desperately need conditions to dry out for an extended period of time, but so far that has not happened.

In fact, last week the heartland was hit by yet another string of devastating storms.  The following comes from CNN

Ten people are dead and a 4 year-old boy remains missing after more than a week of severe weather across the central US that put tens of millions of people at risk.

The deadly spring storm system ravaged several states, unleashing more than 170 reported tornadoes, fierce winds, drenching rain, flash flooding and hail.

One of the tornadoes that was spawned absolutely devastated the capital city of Missouri.  It was reportedly a mile wide, and it stayed on the ground for almost 20 miles

A clearer picture emerged Friday of the size and scope of the powerful tornadoes that tore across Missouri on Wednesday night, leaving a trail of destruction in their paths. The state’s capital, Jefferson City, was among the hardest-hit places, struck overnight by a tornado with a peak wind speed of 160 mph that has been given preliminary rating of EF3.

The monstrous nighttime tornado that struck Jefferson City, a city with a population of about 42,000, was almost a mile wide and was on the ground for nearly 20 miles, toppling homes, ripping roofs off homes and business below.

What we are witnessing is definitely not “normal”, and I have had a number of readers write to me about this recently.  The other day one of my readers in Montana sent me a photograph of a freak May snowstorm that had just hit his area, and another one of my readers in Missouri explained that his boss is freaking out because they haven’t been able to get soybeans in the ground.  All over the country people want answers, and they are frustrated with the lack of information that they are getting from the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, the truth is that things are going to get worse.  Global weather patterns are dramatically shifting, and there is nothing that the authorities will be able to do to stop it from happening.

And it isn’t just in the United States where we are seeing widespread crop failures.  I would encourage you to check out my previous article entitled “Floods And Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet – Could A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?”  In that article I discussed the fact that Australia will actually be importing lots of wheat this year, but normally it is one of the largest exporters of wheat in the entire world.  As crops fail all over the globe, there will be a scramble for food, and the wealthy western nations have more money than anyone else.

Over in Asia, the biggest problem right now is African Swine Flu.  Earlier today, I came across a CNBC article which stated that “up to 200 million Chinese pigs” may have already been lost to this nightmarish disease…

A trade fight with the U.S. isn’t the only war China is fighting. African swine flu has decimated the pig population in China and sent pork prices soaring. As many as up to 200 million Chinese pigs have reportedly been lost due to the disease.

Now, Wall Street analysts are scrambling to assess the fallout from the fast spreading illness and how to invest around it.

The entire U.S. pork industry does not even produce 200 million pigs in an entire year.

So another way of looking at this is that the equivalent of what the entire U.S. pork industry produces in an entire year has just been wiped out.

And now African Swine Flu has spread to other countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, and so this pandemic could soon become a true global cataclysm.

We have never seen so many massive threats hit the global food supply simultaneously, and if this article deeply alarms you that is a good thing.

A perfect storm is rapidly developing, and many expect global events to start accelerating dramatically.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

What Is Causing Extremely Bizarre Weather Patterns To Hammer The Middle Of The U.S. Over And Over Again?

The middle of the country has never seen anything quite like this.  As 2019 began, the central portion of the nation was relentlessly hammered by bitter cold and massive snow storms, and many were hoping for better things once spring arrived.  But then in March the flooding began, and it hasn’t stopped since.  In fact, this is already the longest we have seen flooding along the Mississippi River since 1927, and there is no end in sight.  By the time it is all said and done, all of the old records will probably be completely shattered.  Meanwhile, powerful storms continue to pound the heartland every few days.  Over the weekend, huge storms struck the middle of the country on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and more are expected on Monday.  So what is causing such extremely bizarre weather to happen?  Is there a reason why weather patterns have shifted so dramatically, or is all of this just a really, really strange coincidence?

Nobody can possibly claim that what we are witnessing is “normal”.  According to the the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the last year has been the “wettest 12-month period in recorded history” for the lower 48 states…

The continental United States just recorded its wettest 12-month period in recorded history, while also moving one step closer to being drought-free, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Needless to say, all of this wet weather has caused a tremendous amount of flooding, and at this point this is the longest-lasting Mississippi River flood since 1927

Mississippi River flooding has been ongoing for three months or longer in some locations, making it the longest-lasting flood there since the Great Flood of 1927, the worst flood in modern history on the lower Mississippi River.

Take Vicksburg, Mississippi, for example.

The Mississippi River went above flood stage there on Feb. 17, and has remained in flood ever since. The National Weather Service said this is the longest continuous stretch above flood stage since 1927 at Vicksburg.

And since there is no end in sight for the flooding, all of the old records may end up being broken by a very wide margin.

Very weird weather is happening out west too.  In fact, several feet of snow just fell in the mountains of California

Parts of California still resemble a scene out of winter, with a series of storms bringing several feet of snow to mountain areas, ahead of a “significant” severe weather threat across the nation’s midsection.

The National Weather Service said that a series of Pacific storms are bringing heavy rain, mountain snow, and gusty winds across the West. A winter storm warning was issued Wednesday night that will run through Friday morning for the southern Sierra Nevada.

In every year there are moments of bad weather.  But that isn’t what we are talking about.  In 2019, it is as if we are being hit with a sledgehammer day after day after day.

Of course this has been absolutely disastrous for agricultural production.  At this point, U.S. farmers have planted less than half the corn that they were expected to plant by now.  For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Total Catastrophe For U.S. Corn Production: Only 30% Of U.S. Corn Fields Have Been Planted – 5 Year Average Is 66%”.

We like to think that we are not vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather thanks to all of our advanced technology, but that is not true at all.

And over the weekend, things got even worse.

Starting on Friday and Saturday, a string of immensely powerful storms devastated communities all over the Midwest

A plethora of tornado reports began rolling in Friday in Nebraska and Kansas. On Saturday, almost a dozen were reported in Texas and Oklahoma. In Texas, the National Weather Service Abilene/San Angelo concluded that an EF2 tornado with winds of up to 135 mph damage homes in San Angelo.

Dru Lewis was hunkered down with his family as the storm battered his home.

“There was a suction … from under the door, I could feel it,” he said. “Then all the windows just exploded. It was just chaos from there until the storm died down.”

Then on Sunday, more huge storms produced literally dozens of tornadoes across the region…

Severe thunderstorms continued to rumble across parts of the U.S. Sunday, damaging buildings in Louisiana after spawning more than three dozen reports of tornadoes across five states.

Several homes and businesses were damaged and power lines and trees were down throughout Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, after severe thunderstorms and possible tornadoes moved through the area early Sunday morning. The town of Ville Platte, about 76 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, was especially hard hit.

Unfortunately, there is still more to come.  In fact, an entirely new weather system will hit the middle of the country on Monday

On Monday, a new system will develop off the High Plains and slide east into the Southern Plains. The dry line will interact with an increasingly moist and unstable air mass that will develop across parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Unfortunately, that means very favorable conditions for violent severe weather in parts of this region.

We are being told that the storms on Monday could affect nearly 50 million people.

For a long time I have been warning that global weather patterns are dramatically changing, but at first a lot of people wanted to argue that it wasn’t true.

Well, these days the number of people that want to claim that I am wrong has gone way down.

Of course throughout all of human history weather patterns have always been changing, and so change isn’t something that is new.

But the changes that we are witnessing in our time appear to be taking an apocalyptic turn, and nobody is exactly sure what is going to happen next…

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Total Catastrophe For U.S. Corn Production: Only 30% Of U.S. Corn Fields Have Been Planted – 5 Year Average Is 66%

2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry.  Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground.  I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it.  But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate.  And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly.  In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield.  Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year.  It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.

According to the Department of Agriculture, over the past five years an average of 66 percent of all corn fields were already planted by now…

U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.

Soybean farmers have more time to recover, but they are facing a unique problem of their own which we will talk about later in the article.

But first, let’s take a look at the corn planting numbers from some of our most important corn producing states.  I think that you will agree that these numbers are almost too crazy to believe…

Iowa: 48 percent planted – 5 year average 76 percent

Minnesota: 21 percent planted – 5 year average 65 percent

North Dakota: 11 percent planted – 5 year average 43 percent

South Dakota: 4 percent planted – 5 year average 54 percent

Yes, you read those numbers correctly.

Can you imagine what this is going to do to food prices?

Many farmers are extremely eager to plant crops, but the wet conditions have made it impossible.  The following comes from ABC 7 Chicago

McNeill grows corn and soybeans on more than 500 acres in Grayslake. But much of his farmland is underwater right now, and all of it is too wet to plant. Rain is a farmer’s friend in the summer but in the spring too much rain keeps farmers from planting.

The unusually wet spring has affected farmers throughout the Midwest, but Illinois has been especially hard hit. Experts say with the soil so wet, heavy and cold, it takes the air out and washes nutrients away, making it difficult if not impossible for seeds to take root.

Right now, soil moisture levels in the state of Illinois “are in the 90th to 99th percentile statewide”.  In other words, the entire state is completely and utterly drenched.

As a result, very few Illinois farmers have been able to get corn or soybeans in the ground at this point

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress reports, about 11% of Illinois corn has been planted and about 4% of soybeans. Last year at this time, 88% of corn and 56% of soybeans were in the ground.

I would use the word “catastrophe” to describe what Illinois farmers are facing, but the truth is that what they are going through is far beyond that.

Normally, if corn farmers have a problem getting corn in the ground then they just switch to soybeans instead.  But thanks to the trade war, soybean exports have plummeted dramatically, and the price of soybeans is the lowest that it has been in a decade.

As a result there is very little profit, if any, in growing soybeans this year

Farmers in many parts of the corn belt have suffered from a wet and cooler spring, which has prevented them from planting corn. Typically when it becomes too late to plant corn, farmers will instead plant soybeans, which can grow later into the fall before harvest is required. Yet now, planting soybeans with the overabundance already in bins and scant hope for sales to one of the biggest buyers in China, could raise the risk of a financial disaster.

And if the wet conditions persist, many soybean farms are not going to be able to plant crops at all this year.

Sadly, global weather patterns are continuing to go haywire, and much more rain is coming to the middle of the country starting on Friday

Any hopes of getting corn and soybean planting back on track in the U.S. may be washed away starting Friday as a pair of storms threaten to deliver a “one-two punch” of soaking rain and tornadoes across the Great Plains and Midwest through next week.

As much as 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain will soak soils from South Dakota and Minnesota south to Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations.  I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.

Even though I have been regularly documenting the nightmarish agricultural conditions in the middle of the country, the numbers in this article are much worse than I thought they would be at this point in 2019.

This is truly a major national crisis, and it is just getting started.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Meet Your New Boss: Buying Large Employers Will Enable China To Dominate 1000s Of U.S. Communities

The United States - A Colony Of ChinaAre you ready for a future where China will employ millions of American workers and dominate thousands of small communities all over the United States?  Such a future would be unimaginable to many Americans, but the truth is that it is already starting to happen.  Chinese acquisition of U.S. businesses set a new all-time record last year, and it is on pace to absolutely shatter that record this year.  Meanwhile, China is voraciously gobbling up real estate and is establishing economic beachheads all over America.  If China continues to build economic power inside the United States, it will eventually become the dominant economic force in thousands of small communities all over the nation.  Just think about what the Smithfield Foods acquisition alone will mean.  Smithfield Foods is the largest pork producer and processor in the world.  It has facilities in 26 U.S. states and it employs tens of thousands of Americans.  It directly owns 460 farms and has contracts with approximately 2,100 others.  But now a Chinese company has bought it for $4.7 billion, and that means that the Chinese will now be the most important employer in dozens of rural communities all over America.  If you don’t think that this is important, you haven’t been paying much attention to what has been going on in the world.  Thanks in part to our massively bloated trade deficit with China, the Chinese have trillions of dollars to spend.  They are only just starting to exercise their economic muscles.

And it is important to keep in mind that there is often not much of a difference between “the Chinese government” and “Chinese corporations”.  In 2011, 43 percent of all profits in China were produced by companies that the Chinese government had a controlling interest in.  Americans are accustomed to thinking of “government” and “business” as being separate things, but in China they are often one and the same.  Even when there is a separation in ownership, the reality is that no major Chinese corporation is going to go against the authority and guidance of the Chinese government.  The relationship between government and business in China is much different than it is in the United States.

Over the past several years, Chinese companies have become increasingly aggressive.  Last year a Chinese company spent $2.6 billion to purchase AMC entertainment – one of the largest movie theater chains in the United States.  Now that Chinese company controls more movie ticket sales than anyone else in the world.  At the time, that was the largest acquisition of a U.S. firm by a Chinese company, but now the Smithfield Foods deal has greatly surpassed that.

But China is not just relying on acquisitions to expand its economic power.  The truth is that “economic beachheads” are being established all over America.  For example, Golden Dragon Precise Copper Tube Group, Inc. recently broke ground on a $100 million plant in Thomasville, Alabama.  I am sure that many of the residents of Thomasville, Alabama will be glad to have jobs, but it will also become yet another community that will now be heavily dependent on communist China.

And guess where else Chinese companies are putting down roots?

Detroit.

Yes, the poster child for the deindustrialization of America is being invaded by the Chinese.  The following comes from a recent CNBC article

Dozens of companies from China are putting down roots in Detroit, part of the country’s steady push into the American auto industry.

Chinese-owned companies are investing in American businesses and new vehicle technology, selling everything from seat belts to shock absorbers in retail stores, and hiring experienced engineers and designers in an effort to soak up the talent and expertise of domestic automakers and their suppliers.

If you recently purchased an “American-made vehicle”, there is a really good chance that it has Chinese parts in it.

In fact, it is becoming harder and harder to get auto parts that are actually made in America by American companies.  A lot of those companies are dying off.  One example of this is a battery maker that had received $132 million from the federal government that was recently gobbled up by a huge Chinese corporation…

Industry analysts are hard-pressed to put a number on the Chinese suppliers operating in the United States. “We simply don’t know how many there are,” said David Andrea, an official with the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, a trade organization for auto parts makers.

In one of the more prominent deals, the Wanxiang Group bought most of the assets of the battery maker A123 Systems, which filed for bankruptcy last year despite receiving $132 million of $249 million in federal grants to build two factories in Michigan.

Congressional Republicans criticized the deal, saying A123’s technology could support military applications in China. Still, the buyout was approved this year by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a federal government panel.

China seems particularly interested in acquiring energy resources in the United States.  For example, did you know that China is actually mining for coal in the mountains of Tennessee?

Guizhou Gouchuang Energy Holdings Group spent 616 million dollars to acquire Triple H Coal Co. in Jacksboro, Tennessee.  At the time, that acquisition really didn’t make much news, but now a group of conservatives in Tennessee is trying to stop the Chinese from blowing up their mountains and taking their coal.  The following is from a Wall Street Journal article back in March…

The Tennessee Conservative Union began airing an ad Tuesday that says lawmakers have failed to protect the state’s scenic mountains and are allowing the “Chinese to destroy our mountains and take our coal…the same folks who hold our debt.”

But when it comes to our energy resources, China has been most interested in our oil and natural gas.  It is a complete and total mystery why the federal government would allow China to buy up our precious domestic sources of energy, but it is happening.  The following is a list of some of the oil and natural gas deals that China has been involved in during the last few years that was compiled by the Wall Street Journal

Colorado: Cnooc gained a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming in a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Louisiana: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 265,000 acres in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale after a broader $2.5-billion deal with Devon Energy.

Michigan: Sinopec gained a one-third interest in 350,000 acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.

Ohio: Sinopec acquired a one-third stake in Devon Energy’s 235,000 Utica Shale acres in a larger $2.5 billion deal.

Oklahoma: Sinopec has a one-third interest in 215,000 acres in a broader $2.5 billion deal with Devon Energy.

Texas: Cnooc acquired a one-third interest in Chesapeake Energy’s 600,000 acres in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $2.16-billion deal.

Wyoming: Cnooc has a one-third stake in 800,000 acres in northeast Colorado and southeast Wyoming after a $1.27 billion pact with Chesapeake Energy. Sinopec gained a one-third interest in Devon Energy’s 320,000 acres as part of a larger $2.5 billion deal.

Gulf of Mexico: Cnooc Ltd. separately acquired minority stakes in some of Statoil ASA’s leases as well as six of Nexen Inc.’s deep-water wells.

How could we be so stupid?

Sadly, as our politicians endlessly bicker China just continues to aggressively push ahead.

And pretty soon China may want to build entire cities in the United States just like they have been doing in other countries.  According to Bloomberg, right now China is actually building a city larger than Manhattan just outside of the capital of Belarus…

China is building an entire city in the forests near the Belarusian capital Minsk to create a manufacturing springboard between the European Union and Russia.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko allotted an area 40 percent larger than Manhattan around Minsk’s international airport for the $5 billion development, which will include enough housing to accommodate 155,000 people, according to Chinese and Belarusian officials.

And this is actually already happening on a much smaller scale in this country.  For example, as I have written about previously, a Chinese company known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has purchased 200 acres of land near the little town of Milan, Michigan.  Their stated goal is to construct a “China City” that has artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.

In other cases, large chunks of real estate in the middle of major U.S. cities are being gobbled up by Chinese “investors”.  Just check out what a Fortune article from a while back says has been happening in Toledo, Ohio…

In March 2011, Chinese investors paid $2.15 million cash for a restaurant complex on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio. Soon they put down another $3.8 million on 69 acres of newly decontaminated land in the city’s Marina District, promising to invest $200 million in a new residential-commercial development. That September, another Chinese firm spent $3 million for an aging hotel across a nearby bridge with a view of the minor league ballpark.

Are you starting to get the picture?

China is on the rise and America is in decline.  If you doubt this, just read the following list of facts which comes from one of my previous articles entitled “40 Ways That China Is Beating America“…

#1 As I mentioned above, when you total up all imports and exports of goods, China is now the number one trading nation on the entire planet.

#2 During 2012, we sold about 110 billion dollars worth of stuff to the Chinese, but they sold about 425 billion dollars worth of stuff to us.  That was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.

#3 Overall, the U.S. has run a trade deficit with China over the past decade that comes to more than 2.3 trillion dollars.

#4 China now has the largest new car market in the entire world.

#5 China has more foreign currency reserves than anyone else on the planet.

#6 China is the number one gold producer in the world.

#7 China is also the number one gold importer in the world.

#8 The uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team were made in China.

#9 85 percent of all artificial Christmas trees are made in China.

#10 The new World Trade Center tower is going to include glass that has been imported from China.

#11 The new Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall was made in China.

#12 One of the reasons it is so hard to export stuff to China is because of their tariffs.  According to the New York Times, a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs $27,490 in the United States costs about $85,000 in China thanks to all the tariffs.

#13 The Chinese economy has grown 7 times faster than the U.S. economy has over the past decade.

#14 The United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#15 The United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

#16 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#17 According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year.

#18 China now produces more than twice as many automobiles as the United States does.

#19 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.

#20 After being bailed out by U.S. taxpayers, General Motors is currently involved in 11 joint ventures with companies owned by the Chinese government.  The price for entering into many of these “joint ventures” was a transfer of “state of the art technology” from General Motors to the communist Chinese.

#21 Back in 1998, the United States had 25 percent of the world’s high-tech export market and China had just 10 percent. Ten years later, the United States had less than 15 percent and China’s share had soared to 20 percent.

#22 The United States has lost more than a quarter of all of its high-tech manufacturing jobs over the past ten years.

#23 China’s number one export to the U.S. is computer equipment, but the number one U.S. export to China is “scrap and trash”.

#24 The U.S. trade deficit with China is now more than 30 times larger than it was back in 1990.

#25 China now consumes more energy than the United States does.

#26 China is now the leading manufacturer of goods in the entire world.

#27 China uses more cement than the rest of the world combined.

#28 China is now the number one producer of wind and solar power on the entire globe.

#29 There are more pigs in China than in the next 43 pork producing nations combined.

#30 Today, China produces nearly twice as much beer as the United States does.

#31 Right now, China is producing more than three times as much coal as the United States does.

#33 China now produces 11 times as much steel as the United States does.

#34 China produces more than 90 percent of the global supply of rare earth elements.

#35 China is now the number one supplier of components that are critical to the operation of U.S. defense systems.

#36 A recent investigation by the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services found more than one million counterfeit Chinese parts in the Department of Defense supply chain.

#37 15 years ago, China was 14th in the world in published scientific research articles.  But now, China is expected to pass the United States and become number one very shortly.

#38 China now awards more doctoral degrees in engineering each year than the United States does.

#39 The average household debt load in the United States is 136% of average household income.  In China, the average household debt load is 17% of average household income.

#40 The Chinese have begun to buy up huge amounts of U.S. real estate.  In fact, Chinese citizens purchased one out of every ten homes that were sold in the state of California in 2011.

And what we have seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg as far as Chinese “investment” in U.S. real estate is concerned.  The following is a brief excerpt from a Bloomberg article that was posted just last week

China is studying the possibility of investing a portion of its $3.4 trillion in foreign-exchange reserves in U.S. real estate, said two people with direct knowledge of the situation.

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange began the study after seeing signs of a recovery in the U.S. property market, said the people, who asked not to be identified as they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. China may acquire properties, invest in real estate funds or buy stakes in property companies, they said. The safety of the investments will be the top priority, said the people, who didn’t elaborate on a timetable or other details.

So what can we do about all of this?

Unfortunately, not a whole lot.  Both major political parties seem to be fully convinced that merging our economy with the economy of communist China is a great idea.  I would not expect major changes in our policies regarding China any time soon.

For now, I will just leave you with one piece of advice…

Learn to speak Chinese.  You might need it someday.

Is China Going To Dominate America?

They Are Going To Make It Nearly Impossible To Pass On A Farm Or A Business To Your Children

If you have a farm or a small business, would you like to pass it on to your children when you die?  Well, unless Congress does something, it is going to become much, much harder to do that starting next year.  Right now, there is a 5 million dollar estate tax exemption and anything above that is taxed at 35 percent.  But on January 1st, the exemption will go down to 1 million dollars and the tax rate will go up to 55 percent.  A lot of liberals are very excited about this, because they believe that the government will be soaking wealthy people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.  But the truth is that a lot of farms, ranches and small businesses will be absolutely devastated by this change in the tax law.  There are many farmers and ranchers out there today that do not make much money but are sitting on tracts of land that are worth millions of dollars.  According to the American Farm Bureau, approximately 97 percent of all farms and ranches in the United States would be subject to the estate tax if the exemption was reduced to just a million dollars.  That means that the children of these farmers and ranchers would be faced with a very cruel choice when it is time to inherit these farms and ranches.  Either they come up with enough money to pay the government about half of what the farm or ranch is worth, or they sell the farm or ranch that may have been in their family for generations.  Needless to say, most farm and ranch families do not have that kind of cash lying around.  Most of them are just barely making it from year to year.  So this change in the tax law is going to greatly accelerate the death of the family farm in America.  This is also going to devastate many family-owned small businesses.  Many small businesses don’t make much money, but they have buildings or land or assets worth millions of dollars.  Children that may have wanted to continue the family legacy will be forced to sell because of the massive tax bill that they get from Uncle Sam.  This is an insidious cruelty, and it shows just how broken our system has become.

The desire to leave the wealth that you have worked so hard to accumulate all your life to your children is something that is common to virtually all human societies.  We want to know that future generations will be taken care of.

It is simply immoral for the federal government to swoop in and tax farms, ranches and small businesses that were intended to be passed down from parents to their children at a 55 percent tax rate.

A lot of the people that are going to be affected by this change are not “wealthy” at all.  A recent Fox News report examined what this change in the law is going to mean for rancher Kevin Kester and his family…

Rancher Kevin Kester works dawn to dusk, drives a 12-year-old pick-up truck and earns less than a typical bureaucrat in Washington D.C., yet the federal government considers him rich enough to pay the estate tax — also known as the “death tax.”

Kester told Fox News that he has no doubt that his ranch will have to be sold when he dies just to pay the tax bill…

“There is no way financially my kids can pay what the IRS is going to demand from them nine months after death and keep this ranch intact for their generation and future generations,” said Kester, of the Bear Valley Ranch in Central California.

Two decades ago, Kester paid the IRS $2 million when he inherited a 22,000-acre cattle ranch from his grandfather. Come January, the tax burden on his children will be more than $13 million.

Reading that should make you angry.  Every single year, thousands upon thousands of farms, ranches and small businesses are going to be lost to the federal tax monster.

It is almost as if the federal government does not want income-producing assets to remain in the hands of the “little guy”.

What in the world are we supposed to do?

It isn’t as if all of those farmers and ranchers can go off to the big cities and find good jobs.  As I wrote about yesterday, our politicians are standing aside as millions of our good jobs are shipped out of the country.

The cold, hard truth is that our system does not work for average Americans any longer.  Those that roll out of bed every morning, work hard and never complain always seem to get the short end of the stick.

The people that are the backbone of America are the ones that the government is always the hardest on.

Unfortunately, we have gotten to a point where the government is searching for more “revenue” from anywhere it can because it desperately needs more money.  U.S. government finances are a complete and total mess and we are drowning in the biggest ocean of debt the world has ever seen.

We are more than 16 trillion dollars in debt and there are more than 100 million Americans that are enrolled in at least one welfare program.

Someday has to pay for all this.

Middle class Americans are already hit with dozens of different taxes each year, and you can be certain that our politicians will continue to invent ways to extract even more “revenue” out of us.

And of course our politicians will never stop their wild spending.  Despite all of the negotiations that have taken place over the past couple of years, our spending problems just continue to grow.  For example, the federal budget deficit for the month of October was $120 billion, which was more than 20 percent larger than the federal budget deficit for October 2011 was.

So what is the solution?

Well, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner now says that he wants to eliminate the debt ceiling entirely.  He says that we should just have no limit and that the federal government should just be able to go into debt as much as it wants.

In the end, all of this debt is going to absolutely crush us.  We have literally destroyed the future of America, and yet most of the country still seems clueless about all of this.  The blind are leading the blind, and we are headed straight for complete and utter disaster.

One day, when people look back on this period in American history, what do you think people are going to say about us?

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