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.

Did You Know That The U.S. No Longer Has Any Strategic Grain Reserves At All?

Desolation - Public DomainOnce upon a time, it was popular to say that the U.S. government only had enough wheat stored up to provide everyone in America with half a loaf of bread.  But that is not true anymore.  Recently, I discovered that the U.S. does not have any strategic grain reserves left at all.  Zero.  Nada.  Zilch.  As you will see below, the USDA liquidated the remaining reserves back in 2008.  So if a major food crisis hit this country, our government would have nothing to give us.  Of course the federal government could always go out and try to buy or seize food to feed the population during a major emergency, but that wouldn’t actually increase the total amount of food that was available.  Instead, it would just give the government more power over who gets it.

The U.S. strategic grain reserve was initially created during the days of the Great Depression.  Back then, the wisdom of storing up food for hard times was self-evident.  Unfortunately, over time interest in this program faded, and at this point there is no strategic grain reserve in the United States at all.  The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

The modern concept of a strategic grain reserve was first proposed in the 1930s by Wall Street legend Benjamin Graham. Graham’s idea hinged on the clever management of buffer stocks of grain to tame our daily bread’s tendencies toward boom and bust. When grain prices rose above a threshold, supplies could be increased by bringing reserves to the market — which, in turn, would dampen prices. And when the price of grain went into free-fall and farmers edged toward bankruptcy, the need to fill the depleted reserve would increase the demand for corn and wheat, which would prop up the price of grain.

Following Graham’s theory, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a grain reserve that helped rally the price of wheat and saved American farms during the Depression. In the inflationary 1970s, the USDA revamped FDR’s program into the Farmer-Owned Grain Reserve, which encouraged farmers to store grain in government facilities by offering low-cost and even no-interest loans and reimbursement to cover the storage costs. But over the next quarter of a century the dogma of deregulated global markets came to dominate American politics, and the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act abolished our national system of holding grain in reserve.

As for all that wheat held in storage, it became part of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, a food bank and global charity under the authority of the secretary of Agriculture. The stores were gradually depleted until 2008, when the USDA decided to convert all of what was left into its dollar equivalent. And so the grain that once stabilized prices for farmers, bakers and American consumers ended up as a number on a spreadsheet in the Department of Agriculture.

Of course if there are no major national emergencies of any kind and life just continues on normally for decades to come, this will not be an issue.

But what if something does happen?

Right now, we are already witnessing all sorts of “mini food cataclysms”.  For instance, bees just continue to die in unprecedented numbers all over the globe.  During the most recent year, U.S. beekeepers lost approximately 40 percent of their colonies

Widespread deaths among bees, known as Colony Collapse Disorder, were first reported about a decade ago, but the problem has not diminished and may have been especially bad recently.

Beekeepers across the United States lost roughly 40 percent of their colonies from April 2014 to April 2015, according to an annual survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and Apiary Inspectors of America, with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Another cataclysm is happening with bananas.  In fact, it is being reported that the specific type of banana that we eat right now is in danger of being wiped off the face of the globe

Bananas are in big trouble. While the beloved fruit remains as popular as ever, its crops across the world have been hit with an infectious fungus and the damage is irreparable.

The Cavendish species of banana, which was introduced in 1965, is currently the primary banana export in the world. And it’s being completely ruined by Tropical Race 4, a fungal disease that began in Malaysia in 1990 and has since spread to Southeast Asia, Australia, and finally Africa in 2013.

Believe it or not, this is not the first time a fungus has wiped out an entire species of the bright yellow fruit. By 1965, the Gros Michel species of banana—which lasted longer, were more resilient, and didn’t require artificial ripening—was eradicated after what was called the Panama disease, a different strain of a similar fungal disease wiped out the world’s commercial banana plantations.

In addition, the recent bird flu epidemic was responsible for the deaths of 48 million turkeys and chickens.  This has driven egg prices through the roof

U.S. egg prices continued their upward climb following the most devastating outbreak of bird flu in decades, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report this week.

Prices of large Grade A eggs delivered to store doors in the Midwest Regional area hit a range of $2.73 to $2.81 per dozen, the report showed.

Indianapolis Business Journal notes this is the most expensive eggs have been, according to data that stretches back to 2000.

More than 48 million birds have been affected since avian flu first was spotted in the U.S. in December.

And of course there are many, many more examples of significant problems that are hitting our food supply.  The following short list comes from one of my previous articles

-More than 40 percent of our fresh produce comes from the state of California, but thanks to the worst multi-year drought in the history of the state much of the region is turning back into a desert.

-Also due to the persistent drought, the size of the U.S. cattle herd is now as small as it was during the 1950s, and the price of beef has doubled since the last recession.

-Over the past few years, something called “porcine epidemic diarrhea” has wiped out approximately 10 percent of the entire pig population in the United States.

-Just off the west coast of the United States, a wide variety of sea creatures are dying in unprecedented numbers.  For example, the sardine population along the west coast has dropped by a staggering 91 percent just since 2007.

-Down in Florida, citrus greening disease is absolutely crushing the citrus industry.  Crops just keep on getting smaller year after year.

Are you starting to see what I am talking about?

In many years, the world already eats more food than it produces.  We don’t have much room for error, and there are some countries that are already experiencing a full-blown food crisis.  The nation of Guatemala is one of them

Nearly one million people in Guatemala are struggling to feed themselves as poor rainfall has led to drought and shrunken harvests, worsening hunger among the poor, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon, this year’s drought has hit subsistence farmers living in Central America’s “dry corridor” that runs through parts of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, hard.

“In Guatemala, 170,000 families, approximately 900,000 people, have no food reserves left. This is the third consecutive year they have been hit by drought,” Diego Recalde, head of FAO in Guatemala, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

In recent articles, I have also mentioned the growing food crisis in Venezuela.  Things have gotten so bad that soldiers dressed in riot gear are now policing supermarkets

Soldiers with riot shields, tear gas canisters, and rifles patrol lines in Maracaibo, a major city in the northwest.

Scarcity is particularly acute here because smugglers — taking advantage of the leftist government’s policy of fixing prices on some goods — buy products to sell for profit in nearby Colombia.

“We have to maintain control otherwise there would be chaos,” said Lieutenant Carlos Barrera, 21, pushing back crowds at one supermarket.

As you read this, intense food shortages are also affecting Syria, the Soloman Islands, Yemen, Zimbabwe, and several nations in southern Africa.

Just because you may live in a “wealthy western nation” does not mean that this will not impact you someday as well.

In fact, a major study was just released that came to the conclusion that global “food shocks” are going to become much more common in the years ahead.  The following comes from the Guardian

The likelihood of such a shock, where production of the world’s four major commodity crops – maize, soybean, wheat and rice – falls by 5-7%, is currently once-in-a-century. But such an event will occur every 30 years or more by 2040, according to the study by the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience.

Such a shortfall in production could leave people in developing countries in “an almost untenable position”, with the US and the UK “very much exposed” to the resulting instability and conflict, said co-author Rob Bailey, research director for energy, environment and resources at Chatham House.

Sadly, I believe that things are going to turn out to be far worse than even that report is projecting.

I am convinced that we are moving into a time when increasing volcanic activity, shifting weather patterns, geopolitical instability and severe economic problems are going to create critical shortages of food all over the planet.

So what will you and your family do when those times arrive?  Please feel free to add to the discussion by posting a comment below…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!