Growing concerns over food security and rising prices as severe drought hits crop production worldwide

Across the world, experts warn that food prices will continue to rise and prepare for potential empty shelves. This is because extreme drought is taking a toll on agriculture in 18 major food-producing countries.

The 42 states of the United States are have experienced Moderate to severe dry weather. In addition, record summer heat, combined with prolonged drought in much of Europe, the UK, China, India, parts of Latin America and the Horn of Africa, is exacerbating instability within supply chains. .

Richard Seeger, a climate scientist at Columbia University, told the Epoch Times, “It will adversely affect production of key commodity grains in these regions, leading to higher food prices and adversely affecting food security. There is a possibility.

And the 2022 harvest forecast is already grim.

Wheat crisis - us
Farmer and scout Gary Millershaski participates in the Wheat Quality Council’s Kansas tour to inspect drought-stunted winter wheat near Syracuse, Kansas, May 18, 2022. (Julie Ingwersen/Reuters)

“We are already seeing significant price increases as yields fall below USDA standards. [USDA] Terry Reilly, senior commodity analyst at OTC Global Holdings, told The Epoch Times.

The next round of price increases, predicted in an Aug. 22 report from the Pro Farmer Crop Tour and the USDA, has been exacerbated by an unexpected decline in harvest conditions for released corn and soybeans, he said. explained.

“The rise is likely not over until the corn and soybeans are pulled out of the ground,” Riley added.

Survey from 15 States in the U.S. Farm Belt in June clearly 74% of growers claimed reduced yields.

Additionally, 37% of people reported plowing under crops due to prolonged dry conditions, up from 24% in 2021.

Drought-related local feed costs for U.S. farmers and ranchers also surged to 90%.

Compounding this is expected yield declines from Europe, China and Latin America.

France expects corn yields to fall 20% from 2021 due to record heat and dry weather.

More than 75% of Romania is currently affected by prolonged drought. As a result, their grain production is reduced by an estimated 30 million tons.

According to one report, farmers in Italy are predicting a “significant drop” in crop yields. That, along with the price, inevitably affects the production of olive oil, risotto rice, and pasta.

A spokesperson for Filippo Berio Olive Oils told The Grocer trade publication, “Unless it rains soon, olive yields will drop dramatically.”

A shortage of fruits such as apricots, peaches and pears is also expected.

Meanwhile, extremely dry conditions threaten nearly half of the world’s soybean production in the countries of South America’s southern cone.

Last year, the USDA expected Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay to set record soybean harvests in 2021-2022.

But a drought derailed that plan in March of this year.

A shortfall of more than 18 million tonnes is currently expected. Brazil’s soybean production is down 7% from 2021, Argentina is down her 9% and Paraguay is down a staggering 37%.

Transgenic soybean plants are found in a field near the city of Santa Fe, about 500 km northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Transgenic soybean plants 300 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 10. Dr. Raquel Chan and his team have created transgenic soybean, maize and wheat plants that are drought and salinity tolerant. (Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images)

But fruits and grains aren’t the only commodities affected by drought. Plantations in the Minas Gerais region of Brazil, one of the world’s leading coffee producing countries, had a poor coffee harvest this year during the May to June harvest season.

“This year’s harvest is very bad, very weak, one of the worst crops we’ve harvested in recent years,” said the commercial director of Cooxupe, Brazil’s largest cooperative and coffee exporter, in Guaruja. said at the event.

In China, several provinces are coping with the combined effects of drought and the longest sustained heat wave since 1961. Beijing officials declared a nationwide drought emergency on August 19. This is because the drying up of the Yangtze River has already begun to affect the country’s shipping industry.

China’s Agriculture Minister Tang Renjian told the Global Times that emergency measures were being taken to “ensure the autumn grain harvest”. One of the ways he plans to employ the controversial cloud he seeding technology is to try to generate more rainfall.

In India, another strong agricultural producer, this July was the driest month on record in the north and northeast during the monsoon season.

In the Horn of Africa countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, below-average rainfall for four years has sent farmers into a sharp production spiral.

Seeger said the rise in commodity prices resulting from global crop shortages is likely to affect the countries most dependent on food imports from the affected regions and those with little or no income buffers to withstand higher food prices. He explained that it would be a big blow to

“As far as global food security is concerned, this is a very worrying situation,” he said.

Price hikes for some, hunger for others

“With the heat wave continuing in the central United States, people still don’t understand what that means for corn yields,” Dorine Stabinski, a professor of global environmental politics, told The Epoch Times. rice field.

But she said the problem cannot be solved without first addressing the politics surrounding it.

“France is burning, China is burning, [U.S.] The southwestern desert is burning. This should give world leaders reason to say, ‘We are not doing enough and we need to do more,'” Stavinski said.

Epoch Times photo
Rancher Kyle Foster examines the hay dead grass that feeds his cows on August 10, 2022. Foster said extreme drought threatens to destroy most of his hayfields unless nature provides much-needed rain soon. (Alan Stein/Epoch Times)

For now, people can expect higher food prices, shortages, and in some areas actual starvation.

In terms of inflation, Riley said corn in the European Union and China would likely be the worst hit, but “all agricultural prices are being affected.”

In places like Africa, the consequences of drought have proven dire.

is more than 18 million Due to lack of crops in the Horn countries, people are at risk of starvation. A further shortage of grain shipments from Europe, China and elsewhere would make an already dire situation worse.

“You have drought and water, but you also have extreme heat, and it’s all combined in that it can actually reduce yields. ” added Stabinski.

And the timing couldn’t be worse.

Recovery from the supply chain shock from the Russian conflict in Ukraine has been slow, but this year’s widespread dry weather has reduced crop yields, pushing up food basket prices and costing billions of dollars. It’s creating farm losses.

In the United States alone, food prices have increased by more than 13% over the past 12 months. That’s his biggest annual increase since 1979, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“This year is a bad year,” Stabinski said. [for agriculture] And worse years will come more often in terms of heat, drought and fire. “

autumn spreedeman


Autumn is a South American-based reporter who primarily covers Latin American issues for The Epoch Times.