Brace yourself for even higher prices at the grocery store as the stage has already been set for a lousy crop from United States farms this year.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping know it’s a food crisis in the making as they withhold essential raw materials farmers depend on.
And now Bidenflation is set to explode as farmers pay up to 300% more for this essential supply.
Most conventional farmers in the US apply nitrogen fertilizer in the fall in preparation for spring planting.
But with soaring prices on almost all inputs they’ve been cutting corners.
According to agriculture suppliers, many farmers held off from fertilizing this past fall in hopes that fertilizer prices – which have increased by as much as 300% in some areas – would come back down in the spring.
But we have no reason to believe prices are going to drop in time for a rapidly approaching spring planting season – or that there is even enough fertilizer available if farmers can somehow scrape together enough cash to buy it at any price.
Less fertilizer on the ground is more than likely to lead to lower yields, tighter supplies, and higher prices at the grocery store.
Numerous factors are at play with everything from natural gas prices to trucker shortages pushing up the cost of fertilizer.
In fact, rising energy costs pushed up the price of producing ammonia, one fertilizer ingredient, from $110 to $1,000 in a single year.
Then there are political battles – exacerbated by Joe Biden’s completely inept diplomatic efforts – making it impossible for fertilizer companies to even get their hands on enough urea.
Russia and China both claim they need to hoard supplies in order to ensure they can grow enough food to feed their own populations.
It’s a logical argument, but also illustrates how both countries are shoring up reserves to feed populations that have historically suffered during wartime famines.
It should make us all nervous to know our biggest international rivals are preparing for worst case situations.
And you can thank the US government for another factor that could lead to even more rapidly rising food prices – and more bare shelves.
Decades after the government pushed its “get big or get out” farm policy, industrial agriculture still falls short of the efficiency promised.
A significant portion of the nation’s food supply is still dependent on small farms.
But those farms are in terrible financial shape with 66% losing money every year and most profitable farms making only about 9% of what family members earn from off-farm jobs.
That reality has convinced most young people in rural America to look elsewhere for careers.
In 1978 the average age of a farmer in the US was 50 years old – and by the 2017 census that number had increased to 59 years old.
The 2017 census also showed that 34% of all farmers were 65 years old or older at the time.
Now, five years later, it seems likely quite a few of them will be tempted to park their tractors and cash in on soaring land prices.
Even though it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen in the future, things aren’t looking good for the average family heading to the grocery store.
Food prices are currently at a 10-year high, and a recent report published by the Dutch Rabobank sums up the whole situation with excruciating clarity.
“When it comes to agricultural commodity prices, any sense of normalcy looks unlikely, and inflation in this space is almost certainly not just ‘temporary,’” the report read.
The bank entitled that report “Hell in the Handbasket.”
Patriot Political will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.