Whole Grains / Ingredients R&D / Operations

Drought worsens, crops are damaged, food prices may soar

July 20, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Corn and soybeans in the U.S. Midwest are baking in what has been an unrelenting heat wave, as fears are rising about large crop losses that will boost food and fuel prices and cut exports and assistance from world’s top shipper of the key crops. Consumers could soon be facing steeper bills at the grocery store as a result.

Nearly 40% of the corn planted across the nation is in poor or very poor condition, compared to just 11% at this time last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The country’s corn and soybeans have deteriorated even more than grain traders had expected, and the USDA is cutting weekly corn crop condition ratings by the biggest amount in nearly a decade. After weeks of growing drought, some lucky farms have been doused by scattered thunderstorms in the past few weeks. Still, weather forecasters warn that the heat and dryness could only intensify through the end of July and possibly beyond.

"We're moving from a crisis to a horror story," says Purdue University agronomist Tony Vyn. "I see an increasing number of fields that will produce zero grain."

The drought scorching the Midwest is the worst since 1956, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s report posted on its website. It’s affecting 55% of the land mass in the lower 48 states.

Corn crops are probably in the greatest danger. Plants are trying to pollinate to let ears fill with kernels, a period when adequate moisture is vital for final yields. The U.S. ships more than half of all world exports of corn, which is made into dozens of products, from starch and ethanol to livestock feed.

"We need soaking rains now," says AgResource Co analyst Dan Basse. “We need 2 to 3 inches, and that's not in the forecast.”

"We haven't seen any rain at all, and based on that, food inflation is definitely a real threat," says Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Source: www.reuters.com, www.cnn.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Angelic Bakehouse

Our March issue highlights Angelic Bakehouse, Cudahy, WI.

5/1/13 8:00 am EST

Food Safety Summit Conference & Expo - Live Webinar Sessions

The Food Safety Summit offers the opportunity to attend and participate in these selected sessions remotely by registering and joining in LIVE from your computer.

THE MAGAZINE

Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery Magazine

Cover Image

2014 April

Come check out the latest edition of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery! This month's edition features a special look into the family-owned Ballreich Bros. manufacturer in Tiffin, Ohio.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

What’s for breakfast?

What’s your favorite grain-based breakfast food?
View Results Poll Archive

THE SNACK AND BAKERY STORE

organic-production-&-food-q.gif
Organic Production and Food Quality: A Down to Earth Analysis

Effects of Organic Production on Food Quality is the first comprehensive book on how organic production methods influence the safety and quality of foods, based on an unbiased assessment of the latest scientific findings.  The title is a 'must-have' for everyone working within the food industry.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

The Weekly Mix

Operations Weekly Logo

Written by Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery editors, our Operations Weekly weekly enewsletter provides bakers and snack food manufacturers with up-to-the-minute news, ideas and industry trends.

Sign up today!

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook IconTwitter IconYoutube IconLinkedIn Icon