“And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love YHWH your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give [you] the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full.

Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And [then] YHWH’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and [lest] ye perish quickly from off the good land which YHWH giveth you.” Deut. 11: 13-17

Could America be under judgment?

Have you guys been paying attention to the major drought that has been plaguing the US? I know you’ve heard talk, but are you really up to date on how bad it is?

I know it isn’t fun to discuss, but it’s important. And I feel like it’s my obligation to bring important issues to light here, for those who don’t have time to catch up on the headlines.

By NBC News wire reports

Federal forecasters are predicting record prices for corn and soybeans, raising fears of a new world food crisis as the worst U.S. drought in half a century continues to punish key farm states.

With corn and soybean crops falling significantly short in production, we can expect the price of corn and any products that contain corn and soybeans to steadily increase. But this year’s devastating drought  won’t only raise the price of these two commodities. You can be sure it will effect much of our food supply.

Along the 195-mile Embarras River, a tributary of the Wabash in southeastern Illinois, rancher Jim Gardner worries about his 200 head of Angus cattle.

There’s enough hay–for now. But in July, the cattle started eating winter’s food, and this year’s drought has already browned his fields. When the rain stopped, the ranch cut the hay for feed. The fields are now barren.

“You have a choice: Spend money to buy hay or spend money on fuel to get hay. We may be looking for hay again in October,” Gardner writes in a first-person piece for Yahoo News.

Drought Diaries

 

Corn fields and pastures are all dried up, meaning it’s becoming either too expensive or impossible for farmers to feed their livestock. Which is leaving many of them with only one option- sell the herd.

The grass in Melvin Korte’s 280 acres of pasture in northern Missouri is dead, burnt away in the worst drought in the Corn Belt in more than a half-century. Now he’s doing all he can to keep his herd of 63 cattle alive.

He’s using up winter hay and buying feed at prices more than a third higher than three months ago. Later this year, he may bale the dead corn stalks from his neighbors’ fields for feed. “There’s not much nutrition in it,” the 65-year-old farmer says. “But it gets something in the animals’ stomachs.”

Feed-rationing may help Korte save two-thirds of his herd as he and other cattle farmers struggle to feed animals grazing on the brown and barren fields. Otherwise, “liquidation” is the alternative. Without the government-backed insurance available to corn and soybean farmers, cattle-producers may be suffering the most under the drought, responding to higher costs by sending cattle for slaughter early, with some eventually selling their herds entirely.

Bloomberg News

Arthur Meyer, who raises Angus cattle and grows corn and soybeans on his farm outside Bowling Green, Missouri, said federal aid to help defray higher feed costs would be helpful. Still, he said he doesn’t expect Congress to do anything.

He’s planning to sell his calves in September, three months early, as he runs out of the hay he normally feeds in winter months and which is costing him twice as much as it did three months ago.

“You can’t let them sit out there and not feed them anything,” the 77-year-old farmer said. “They lose weight, and now you’re going backward.”

Without rain, “I’m just going to have to bite the bullet, cut my costs, and sell,” he said.

Bloomberg News

 

What does that mean for you and I? It means that for right now, beef is going to be cheap as more meat is pushed into the market. But once the rush is over and farmers don’t have many cows to sell anymore, beef prices are going to skyrocket. It’s that old rule of supply and demand.

In the short term, what’s bad for ranchers may be good for consumers. The increased sales of animals to slaughterhouses will boost beef supplies and slow price increases at the supermarket, Lapp said. The USDA last month lowered its forecast for beef-price inflation for 2012 half a percentage point to 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. For 2013, the expectation is a gain of as much as 5 percent.

“Near term, there is an adequate supply of meat from all species,” Michael Martin, a spokesman for Minneapolis-based Cargill, said in an e-mail. “As we move into 2013, the supply of beef, in particular, could be constrained by the U.S. herd being the smallest in 60 years.”

Bloomberg News

You can also expect to see the price of milk, cheese, and other dairy products to increase.

There will still be milk to buy, says Roger Hoskin, an agricultural economist with the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. “I can’t imagine situations where you’d have people standing in line to get milk at the dairy counter. But they might not want it at the price it’s selling at.”

He adds that “you’ll see less cheese on pizzas and in salad bars.”

USA Today

 

Of course, cows aren’t the only livestock being affected by the drought. You can expect to see price hikes in poultry and eggs as well. Not to mention all of the processed foods that have corn and soy based ingredients, along with cooking oils.

Poultry prices will be the first to feel the effects of the drought.

“We expect to see a direct impact this year on poultry,” said USDA Volpe. “The animals are smaller and grow faster.”

The USDA is forecasting a 3.5% to 4.5% jump in chicken and turkey prices this year.

And expect to pay more for cheese and milk, with dairy prices headed for a 2% to 3% increase. Eggs will also be impacted, though prices are only forecast to rise 1% to 2% this year.

Consumers can expect to pay more for cooking oil and vegetable oil this year, since soybeans are the main ingredient. The USDA is forecasting a rise of 4% to 5% for fats and oils.

CNN Money

The drought has also effected non-grain crops. Many fruits and vegetables grown in the mid-west are coming at a high cost as farmers pay more for extra irrigation to water their parched plants. All of this translates to higher prices for the consumer, and less food on the market.

Why do I tell you all of this? What’s my point?

My point is that whether we like it or not, food shortages and an increased cost in food is coming. This isn’t meant to scare you, but it is meant to grab you by the shoulders and shake you into reality. There is still time to prepare your family for lean times… but you better get started now!

 

Here are some things to start acting on today…

1. Buy meat and produce on sale and either freeze it, or better yet, can it. Canning will last years longer than freezing. If you don’t have a little stand alone freezer, start scouring Craigslist for a used one and fill it up when deals come along.

2. If you have backyard chickens or small livestock, start buying extra corn and feed and storing it in airtight trash cans or buckets, before prices go up any more. The farmer we buy chicken scratch from had to raise his prices again last week. If you can afford a little extra, get it. Keep track of how much it is costing you to feed your animals, and weigh the benefits. You might consider figuring out a way to let your animals free range, if they aren’t already, to supplement their diet.

3. If you have the land, consider raising chickens and goats for milk, eggs, and meat.

4. Start cooking more from scratch and buying less processed foods which are full of corn and soy byproducts.

5. Use less oil in your cooking. If you have access to apples, make applesauce to supplement oil in your baking. You might also experiment with baking recipes that don’t use milk or eggs.

6. Learn how to make your own cheese! You can make it from fresh milk or store-bought milk.

7. Start a garden, or expand your garden this year. Start ordering your seeds for next year now, so you’ll have them on hand when the next growing season arrives.

7. Stock up now, before 2013 gets here. Every extra dollar you have should go toward investing in food that is cheaper today than it will be in just a few more months.

8. But most importantly… we need to be praying. Praying not only for our nation, and for the world, but praying that the Father reveals to each of us what He wants from us as His children. What does He require of us in order to bestow blessings? And then we need to be searching the Scriptures for answers.

What do you think about all of this? Are you preparing, or do you feel it won’t effect you enough to be concerned? Have you felt the effects of the drought in your area?

Still need more convincing? Here’s a good list to keep you busy, courtesy of Stan and Holly Deyo