Floods and Food Prices

By Ray Gano

March, Midwest. Unexpected rain with also record snow caused one of the worse flood the Midwest has seen.

People, crops and animals all destroyed…swept completely away. Because crops are destroyed, and new seed is late in getting into the ground, we may see much higher food prices due to late crops or no crops. The result will be food shortages.

Right now is the time to start checking your preps and see where you stand. Possibly step up your food purchases and put up a few more cans than you regularly do.

To make matters worse, the potential for more floods in key agricultural states looms in front of us as more rain is predicted for the rest of this spring and into the summer.

So far, heavy flooding has impacted important agricultural states, including Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri.

It is the melting snow that has prolonged and expanded the flooding, especially in the central and southern U.S.

As this excess water flows downstream through the major rivers, like the Mississippi, the flood threat will become worse and become more widespread.

What most home gardeners know is that mother nature does not wait for anyone. When it’s time to start seeds, time to plant, time to weed, etc.,

Each type of plant that you choose to grow has its own special growing needs be it how much moisture, temperature, even sunlight. If you are late, you will not get the perfect yield, or your garden will not produce at all. That is what the farmers have been facing in the Midwest. You snooze you lose.

The Wettest, Wildest Planting Season U.S. Farmers Can Remember

There has never been a spring planting season like this one. Rivers topped their banks. Levees were breached. Fields filled with water and mud. And it kept raining.

It was raining when U.S. farmers, a year into being squeezed out of the world’s largest soybean market by the trade war with China, were supposed to start putting down crops. It was raining when President Donald Trump risked starting a feud with Mexico, the biggest buyer of U.S. corn, by threatening to slap tariffs on its exports.

“You hear words like biblical, unprecedented,” said Sherman Newlin, a corn and soybean farmer in Illinois. “That’s all true.”

The storms and rains may soon lift, but the layers of uncertainty just keep adding up.

Source – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-01/the-wettest-and-wildest-planting-season-farmers-can-remember

Farmers have not been able to catch a break and what crops they can get in, well may not come to fruition or a miniscule harvest at best. In fact, in some areas the time has simply run out to plant staple crops like wheat and corn.

Some farmers have been able to plant a later crop, that is if their fields dried enough to plant and also depending on what they are growing. Many will not and this can be a financial devastation to many family farmers who depend on their crops as income.

Floodwaters Threaten Millions in Crop and Livestock Losses

The water rose so quickly that farmers in many areas had no time to get animals out, said Chad Hart, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University.

“Places that haven’t seen animal loss have seen a lot of animal stress. That means they’re not gaining weight and won’t be marketed in as timely a manner, which results in additional cost,” he said.

In all, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson estimated $400 million of crop losses from fields left unplanted or planted late and up to $500 million in livestock losses.

Source – https://www.dairyherd.com/article/floodwaters-threaten-millions-crop-and-livestock-losses

What Foods Are Being Effected?

When we look at the currently impacted states, here’s which crops and livestock will be impacted:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Hay
  • Alfalfa
  • Oats
  • Beef
  • Dairy
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Eggs

Take a good look at that list. Grains are not just used for baking bread. They are used extensively in livestock feed. Grain prices go up, so does the cost of meat. Hay and alfalfa are also key crops for feeding cattle and horses.

Hay shortage in the Midwest leads to surging prices for horse owners

RAYMORE, Mo. — The price of hay has tripled for a lot of horse and livestock owners.

Hay bales that usually cost $40 are now $150.

That’s because there’s a shortage in the region. The Midwest hay shortage is said to be the result of 2018 wildfires in Kansas, drought in Missouri and wet weather in Iowa.

Source – https://fox4kc.com/2019/04/10/hay-shortage-in-the-midwest-leads-to-surging-prices-for-horse-owners/

Take a look at any package food you have in your pantry and read the ingredients. You will typically find wheat, corn, dairy, eggs, or soy in nearly every single convenience food out there.

So, guess what, the prices for all those are probably going to go up as well.

Mainstream media hasn’t touched this topic with a ten-foot pole. If they did, it would instill panic and a run on grocery stores immediately. The talking heads on TV are pretending there isn’t a potential crisis around the corner.

Don’t fall for it.

The best course of action is to stock up on food. Everyone’s situation is different. Some people have to stockpile in a city apartment, and others have acres to grow their own veggies and raise/hunt their own meat. Whatever your situation is, start thinking about what you eat and how to store those items.

What Can You Do Now…?

Buy a storage freezer. Check out Facebook and local sales apps if buying a new one is too costly.

Buy a cow or pig from a local farm for that freezer. This is the least expensive way to buy meat that I have found. It’s a lot up front, but the best price per pound.

Join a wholesale club and buy your meats there. You may need to cut up and portion your meat into freezer bags prior to freezing. This is the second least expensive way to buy meat that I know of, and it has a lower upfront cost.

Use a website, like Local Harvest, to find farms near you. Make good use of local CSA farms, farm stands, and farmers markets. You can find everything from meats to dairy, to produce without ever stepping foot into a grocery store. Local food is the hedge against the failures of centralized, modern agriculture.

Buy a pressure canner. I started out with the All American 921, which I love. Whenever you find a deal, or if you buy in bulk from a wholesale club, can up that extra food for a rainy day. You can also use this to sterilize medical equipment as well a make grain alcohol for fuel or trade.

Can’t afford to buy in bulk? Use this opportunity to talk with friends about prepping and make a group purchase.

If you have a yard, use some of it to grow some of your own food. Food is expensive. Seeds are cheap. It may be too late today to get certain summer vegetables in the ground depending upon where you live. But, most people still have time to plant a fall garden. If you don’t have much space, look into container gardening.

Stock up on grains in bulk using 5 gallon buckets. There is a great mylar bag kit that you can purchase that has everything you need, you just get the bucket and lid.

Mylar kit – https://amzn.to/2FLon0a

Many of you know that I am a HUGE fan of Gamma Lids. These make getting in your buckets much easier and because the lids have silicon seals, it will keep the bugs and critters out.

Gamma Lids – https://amzn.to/2Lwjuvw

Finally, check out our Thrive Life store where you can get some great foods as well as the food storage shelf that will hold up to 600 cans of food in a 3x3x6 space.

Thrive Life Store – https://www.thrivelife.com/Gano

Conclusion

The idea of a food shortage is daunting, but don’t let that scare you off stocking that pantry. The time is now. Probably around the winter time we will see a sharp rise in food prices because the manufactures will have hit that scarcity of food that was caused by the floods.

Look at food as an investment and start investing in it now.

If you have any questions or such, contact me and I will be more than happy to help answer your questions.