Tag Archives: food

Coronavirus, Global Bean Shortage & Empty Food Shelves – Multiple Reports

Coronavirus has captured the worlds attention — but have you noticed grocery stores struggling to keep food on the shelves? Whole Foods distributor goes bankrupt as dry bean prices are skyrocketing after 50%+ crop loss, causing global repercussions. Keep your eye on the ball, and start growing food.

The 2019 Dry Bean Harvest is over. Let’s take a careful look at how it was and whats is in store for 2020. Will we see price increases or shortages in the coming months? We take a look at the facts, so you know what it means to you and your family. Take care, be safe and God Bless you all.

You can wait for a corporatocracy solution or take matters into your own hands.

Article Reference Links For Both Video Reports:

Continue reading

Food Is A Weapon

(Ol’ Remus) As in all war, food would be weaponized in a Civil War II. We don’t have to go back to antiquity for examples, more recent events provide a long list, some of which are:

United States

 Sherman’s “scorched earth” campaign began on November 15th [1864] when he cut the last telegraph wire that linked him to his superiors in the North. He left Atlanta in flames and pointed his army south. No word would be heard from him for the next five weeks. Unbeknownst to his enemy, Sherman’s objective was the port of Savannah. His army of 65,000 cut a broad swath as it lumbered towards its destination. Plantations were burned, crops destroyed and stores of food pillaged.

Germany

 The War Orders given by the Admiralty on 26 August 1914 were clear enough. All food consigned to Germany through neutral ports was to be captured and all food consigned to Rotterdam was to be presumed consigned to Germany. The British were determined on the starvation policy, whether or not it was lawful.

 The average daily diet of 1,000 calories was insufficient to maintain a good standard of health, resulting by 1917 in widespread disorders caused by malnutrition such as scurvy, tuberculosis, and dysentery. In December 1918, the National Health Office in Berlin calculated that 763,000 persons had died as a result of the blockade by that time.

Ukraine

 By the fall of 1932 it became apparent that Ukraine’s grain harvest was going to miss Soviet planners’ target by 60 percent. Stalin then ordered what little they had be confiscated as punishment for not meeting quotas. The Ukrainian famine by one estimate claimed the lives of 3.9 million people, about 13 percent of the population. In June of 1933, at the height of the Holodomor, 28,000 men, women and children in Ukraine were dying of starvation each day.

Great Britain

 Britain imported 70% of its food; this required 20 million tons of shipping a year. Knowing this would lead the Axis powers into hoping to starve the British population into submission, by cutting off those food supply lines. By the end of 1940, 728,000 tons of food making its way to Britain had been lost, sunk by German submarine activity.

Netherlands

 In September 1944, trains in the Netherlands ground to a halt. Dutch railway workers were hoping that a strike could stop the transport of Nazi troops, helping the advancing Allied forces. But the Allied campaign failed, and the Nazis punished the Netherlands by blocking food supplies, plunging much of the country into famine. By the time the Netherlands was liberated in May 1945, more than 20,000 people had died of starvation.

Japan

 The problem was not just harvests and the cutting off imports, transportation problems developed. Fuel shortages made it increasingly difficult getting food from the countryside into the cities. Food Shortages had begun to appear in some parts of the country even before Pearl Harbor.  By 1944 theft of produce still in the fields led police to speak of a new class of “vegetable thieves” and the new crime of “field vandalizing”. The average calorie intake per person had by late 1945 declined to far less than deemed necessary even for an individual engaged in light work.

Berlin

Stalin’s blockade of Berlin from June 1948 through May 1949 was an attempt to starve West Berlin’s two million inhabitants into accepting Soviet rule. The city quickly devolved into near-famine. A largely American airlift rescued it and kept it alive.

The US has historically used food as part of carrot-and-stick diplomacy, or said differently, bribes. During the Second World War, Great Britain and the Soviet Union relied crucially on American food, assuring a measure of their dependency in power negotiations. Germany, and particularly Japan, were nearly US territories after the war, both would have starved without prompt delivery of American food in quantity.

Wars are generally about food. Ancient Rome imported its food and fought epic wars to develop new sources and keep the ones it had. Medieval fiefdoms were agricultural enterprises, raiding their neighbors was common. The westward expansion of America in the nineteenth century was about food and the means to move it, as was Japan’s expanding empire in the early twentieth century. Germany explicitly cited food production to justify its aggression in the east. Their rants about fighting Bolshevism was pep rally stuff, Nazism itself was excessively patriotic Marxism.

History and cold calculation suggest food would be a weapon in a Civil War II, one of many, but of prime importance long term. Civil wars have long gestations, go kinetic suddenly and get complicated in a hurry. We have no firm knowledge what would set it off, who would be actively involved or how it would end. But the outlines are repeated well enough to guide our preparations.

The ruling class already treats middle America as this century’s Untermensch. Nothing is off the table in a civil war. Seizing the nation’s food would be an obvious move. Expect them to deploy troops to secure big ag and the necessary transportation facilities, destroy anyone who got in their way and terrorize potential troublemakers. But there’s a limit to even the deep state’s resources. Prudent survivalists in the far hills wouldn’t warrant their attention, they’d be more likely to trade shots with desperados than find themselves in a firefight with regular forces.

Food is the indispensable survival prep. At minimum this means a secure long-term stash of high calorie food sufficient to outlast the initial violence and privation without relying on resupply. Call it a year, maybe two.

Preppers are kidding themselves about large, elaborate enclaves. Such communities with their gardens, livestock, solar powered utilities, weapons, comms, storehouses, workshops, tools and supplies would be fatally attractive. Training with light infantry tactics and weapons is understandable, but repelling serial attacks by gangs and other armed opportunists would include attrition, i.e., the worker bees would win battles but eventually too few would remain to run the place. And when it became unviable, so would they.

Such redoubts have their place when the meltdown eases, but in the initial phases, less is more.

Well placed and practiced survivalists could get by on a onesey-twosey basis. Two may survive where one wouldn’t. Three or four may be better, assuming an adequate reserve of food and supplies. With more than four the liabilities are likely to outweigh the advantages. It assumes the deepest of deep larders, extensive supplies and harmonious wisdom in all things. Unless each make an irreplaceable contribution of critical value it’s probably too big a footprint for this phase. Loosely allying with similar small groups for mutual benefit may be the better choice. Five or more is a crowd, a danger to itself.

Famine is a given in contemporary civil war. Those embedded in interior cities have no chance, so, next item. The ruling class would continue to work against middle America’s existence. As said above, they’d confiscate local stores of food on a continuing basis, seize major food producing areas intact and grab the needed transportation facilities. Make no mistake, their hirelings would be granted license for absolute ruthlessness. Free fire zones and minefields are not off the table. Skilled labor, if otherwise unwilling, would be arrested and compelled to work.

Feeding their base would guarantee the loyalty of supporters, inflict mass death on the deplorables by ‘no cost’ neglect and keep armed confrontation largely confined to flyover country. But note, as said here before, this is a precarious solution. The coastal megacities are fed from the outside by vulnerable arteries passing through what would be hostile territory. In the end, feeding them would stutter and fail. Even now they’re cauldrons of seething hatred, barely repressed, often organized. With real scarcity and hardship they’d fall on each other and tear the place apart.

Privation, disease, hunger, murderous chaos and high intensity combat would likely peak in the second year. This is the knothole which would separate the survivalists from dabblers and hopeful idealists. In the years that follow, when the maelstrom had largely exhausted itself and the situation clarified, those who made good use of their resources could be largely self supporting, coalescing into tribes, forming families with neighbors and partying like it was 1319.

Be a survivor. The who and what of a civil war would matter only occasionally. Food would matter every hour of every week. Stack food high, wide and deep where it’s secure from looters and confiscation. Backup your stash with an “iron rations” fallback stash. Stack seeds, garden tools, fishing and hunting gear to be prepared for self-resupply opportunities. Calories are life.

Source: Woodpile Report

Grand Solar Minimum: Big Ag Closing American Processing Plants As Grow Zones Shift South

Del Monte is closing US production plants (in WI, MN, and IL) and moving operations further South…or indoors! Likewise, Cargill sold off all assets in Ontario. Tyson fire off lines 6% of US beef pipeline. As major components of modern agriculture are failing, the more significant realization is that these conglomerates have ALREADY GIVEN UP on current large, North American grow zones and started preparing for tougher, long term growing seasons ahead.

Are you prepared?

Americans Brace For Shock Surge In Everyday Food Prices

Avocado Toast

The ‘patient’ Fed has been lamenting the “lack of inflation” for far too long. It is about to get its wish.

American food merchants are struggling to import fruits and vegetables from Mexico as wait times at port of entries along the Mexico–US border have surged because of a shift in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel away from the port of entries to remote regions of the border to fight illegal crossings. As a result, shipments of food have dramatically declined in recent weeks, and the result is an imminent spike in imported food prices in the coming months that could put a sizeable dent in consumer wallets.

Fruit and vegetable importers that wholesale to grocery stores throughout the US, could inflate prices by at least 20% to 40% if the wait times continue, with avocado prices already soaring (see “Mexican Avocado Prices Explode By Most In A Decade After Trump Border Threat“).

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/avocado%20price%204.27.jpg?itok=gUW2invn

After the avocado price surge, cucumbers, eggplants, bell peppers, squash, cherry tomatoes, watermelons, and most other fruit and vegetables imported from the tropics would be affected.

“(The) Mexican border, it’s one of the most important crossings to the United States,” said Joshua Duran, Amore Produce sales representative.

About 43% of all US fruit and vegetables originate from Mexico. In the last several decades, Mexico has become the top trading partner with the US. Much of the US-Mexico commerce involves mega-corporations that send products back and forth across the border as part of a critical segment of their supply chain that has increased since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect in 1994.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/mex%20us%20trade.jpg?itok=AIv5n_xo

This month [April], distributor Amore Produce truck drivers hauling product from Mexico have experienced a 300% wait time at the various port of entries along the Mexico–US border, stuck in line for up to 15 hours.

“Now we are having a lot of problems in the border,” Duran said. “So, let’s say we used to have like five hours. We’re getting 10 or 15 hours to pass that truck to the United States…one or two (gates) are not enough to get all the entire trucks coming from Mexico and not only for produce, for all the products that people here in the United States get from Mexico.”

Increase wait times have depleted cold storage inventories of McAllen Produce Terminal Market, located just 20 minutes from the border. Duran said the importer cannot ship fresh produce across the country anymore becuase their truck drivers are waiting almost a day to move product across the port of entry – by the time it makes it to the US, the produce won’t make it fresh to the wholesaler.

“We couldn’t get it here and we couldn’t send it to the customers in the north,” Duran said.

Marabella Produce owner Alejandro Knight suggested that wait time increases have impacted his cold-storage levels in the last month. Knight said his warehouse is always at full capacity, but now, the floors are covered with empty pallets. Most of the produce Knight receives from Mexico is spoiled, thanks to wait time increases, warehouse workers have to immediately throw out the produce once it arrives.

“We cannot deliver a fresh product anymore if we have to wait for each load to cross, five to six days, it’s impossible to work like this,” Knight warned.

Knight said Mexican farmers are now “afraid” to export fruits and vegetables to the US because of extended wait times.

Salavador Contreras, an economist at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, said if wait times increase, it could inflate produce for everyday American consumers.

“It’s going to be felt at the grocery stores when we start paying more for limes and our avocados at the grocery store,” Contreras said.

If the wait times persist at the border, in the coming months Americans will be shocked by soaring prices in the produce section of their local grocery stores, a move that could reverse consumer sentiment right before an important election year. But at least the Fed will be delighted: it will have achieved some of that “symmetric” inflation overshoot it has been seeking for so long… and all thanks to Trump.

Source: ZeroHedge

USDA Reports Honey Bee Colony Losses Increase

The USDA just released a report on the state of America’s honey bees, and the news is sour.

https://i1.wp.com/blogs.reuters.com/data-dive/files/2015/05/Bees051415-620.jpg

As this Reuters graphic shows, beekeepers reported a loss of 42.1 percent of their colonies in 2014/2015. Summer losses were 27.4 percent, and for the first time on record exceeded the winter rate, which was 23.1 percent. More than two-thirds of the 6,128 beekeepers surveyed reported winter loss rates above the 18.7 percent rate deemed the tipping point for economic sustainability. 

Bees impact 50-80 percent of the global food supply, so the issue extends beyond healthy sweeteners. A Cornell University study reported that insect pollinators contribute $29 billion to the U.S. farm economy, and the country has an estimated 2.74 million managed bee colonies which pollinate one-third of the country’s fruit and vegetable crops.

Indeed, the situation is serious enough to attract Washington’s attention: A subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture convened this week for a public hearing on pollinator health.

Article by Mike Corones | Reuters

Ruffling Feathers: Farmers reveal secrets of chicken meat trade in America

Chicken farms in the US are notoriously hard to access if you’re not involved in the industry. But one American farmer, contracted to a meat processing company, has thrown open the barn doors. He claims firms routinely mislead customers about the conditions the birds are reared in and their health. Maria Finoshina went to meet him.

Unwanted Piles of Corn, Soy Spur Most-Bearish Crop Outlook Ever

  • Hedge funds expand short-positions as U.S. crop exports plunge
  • Combined U.S. stockpiles are the biggest ever as prices tumble

Piles of unwanted grain on farms near Doug Schmitz’s storage bins in southern Minnesota are a stark reminder of just how bearish the outlook is for U.S. crop prices.

After record yields during the harvest a few months ago, growers in the area still have 80 percent of their corn crop left to sell and 70 percent of soybeans, said Schmitz, who operates four grain elevators and markets to processors and exporters. Normally, half the supply would be unloaded by now, he said. While Schmitz Grain Inc. is under contract to collect 2 million bushels from local farmers, the outlook is so dim that most of that inventory hasn’t been priced yet, he said.

Money managers are holding their most-bearish bets on grain prices since the government started tracking the data in 2006. It’s easy to see why. Stockpiles of corn and soybeans in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, probably were the biggest ever on Dec. 1, and wheat inventories were the highest in five years, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts. The government will issue its estimate Tuesday.

 

“It’s the slowest sales pace in the 25 years I’ve been in the grain business,” said Schmitz, who’s based in Currie, Minnesota. “It’s amazing how well farmers were able to put away those bushels and wait for a recovery in prices that has failed to come.”

Full Bins

Hedge funds held a combined net-short position of 337,678 futures and options in corn, soybeans and wheat as of Jan. 5, 19 percent more than the previous week and more than twice what it was a month ago, according to Commodity Futures Trading Commission data released three days later. The bearish holdings were twice the short hedges held by commercial end-users, signaling farmers may be withholding crops that elevators would normally have already bought and hedged. All three commodities posted a third straight year of losses on the Chicago Board of Trade in 2015.

Domestic stockpiles have been swelling as U.S. exports falter, fueled by a strong dollar and rising production by other suppliers. Schmitz said he has yet to load a single rail car this season with corn or soybeans destined for West Coast export terminals. A year earlier, he shipped 1 million bushels.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts wheat exports in the current season will be the lowest in four decades. Corn and soybeans sold for delivery by Aug. 31 are down a combined 17 percent as of Dec. 31, surpassing the USDA’s estimates for a 6.6 percent annual decline. At the same time, corn shipments from Brazil were the highest ever in each of the past four months. Argentina’s exports have become more profitable after new president Mauricio Macri eliminated most crop taxes and lifted four years of currency controls.

“It is a nearly unprecedented retention of crop inventory this year,” said Roger Fray, executive vice president for Ralston, Iowa-based West Central Cooperative, which can store about 78 million bushels of grain. “The producer has shoved corn and soybeans into places he has never used. It is very possible there will be some forced sales of grain this spring, when farmers need cash to plant crops.”

Production Risks

The USDA will issue its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report at noon on Tuesday in Washington. The government probably will reduce its estimates of Brazil’s corn and soybean output as well as the forecast of Argentina’s corn production, according to the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Parts of Brazil were hurt by lack of rain in December, according to Somar Meteorologia. Daily showers in northern crop areas will aid late growth through the next two weeks, Commodity Weather Group said on Jan. 8.

Other U.S. weather risks remain. The current El Nino climate phenomenon has peaked, which may be replaced by a drier pattern known as La Nina in the second half of 2016, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said last week. November and December were the wettest since 1895 in the U.S., which could hurt corn and soybean yields later this year, according to T-Storm Weather LLC.

“We need a market-clearing event, whether that’s a demand shock from somewhere or whether that’s a supply shock as a result of weather,” said Gillian Rutherford, who helps oversee about $13 billion as a commodities portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co. in Newport Beach, California. “In the absence of that, we have such a material buffer that it’s difficult to envision a sustained price rally.”

By Megan Durisin in Bloomberg Business