The summer of 2012 proved to be the worst summer in over 25 years. Severe drought struck the mid-Western United States, leaving farmers and ranchers scrambling to save as much stock as possible. As a result of the drought, cattle herds and planted crops were destroyed or badly damaged. The full effects of the drought won’t even be fully felt until 2013 when the cost of the damage shows up in food prices.
What Caused the Drought?
The winter of 2011 was extremely mild in the mid-western states as snow levels were well below the norm. What this meant for the spring is the melt water wasn’t sufficient to soak the soil and provide protection from an abnormally hot summer. Rain was also in short supply, which gave no relief to dry crops. As for temperature, That National Data Gathering Center on Weather reported that July was the hottest month on record nationally, and that it was in the top 10 hottest July’s for 32 states.
What areas were affected?
More than 50 percent of the country was declared drought-stricken in July 2012. It was the largest area in drought in over 55 years. The areas hit the heaviest were the mid-western states, including Iowa, Kansas, Illinois, Nebraska and others. Those particular states provide much of the grain and beef production for the entire nation. Naturally many farmers and consumers wondered what the long-term effects would be. Farmers salvaged what crops they could and many had to downgrade their farm equipment due to the small revenues at the end of harvest.
What Impacts will the Drought have?
The first and most obvious impact will be an increase in prices. As simple supply and demand would dictate, as the supply available of certain crops diminishes, the price inevitably goes up. Because governments know there is a shortage, they’ve purchased large quantities of stock to help control the prices. The problem with that tactic though is it makes the prices go even higher because the average consumer realizes there is less available and starts to hoard. Experts are saying that we won’t see the dramatic price increases until mid to late 2013 because the fall harvest doesn’t hit the market until summer 2013. Many consumers will wonder why there is a sharp increase when the root of the problem dates back to the drought over a year earlier.
What can you do?
The first option is to stock up and purchase items that can be stored long term (at their current low prices). This option means you will avoid buying overpriced items at a later date, thus saving you money. The other option many people are turning to is self-reliance…being able to grow their own food supply and not being subject to the volatile swings of the market.
While the 2012 drought was devastating, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Can you imagine if everything had been wiped out? If you could get staples like corn, beef, or peas at all, they would cost a small fortune. Seed Banks and Survival Seed Kits are an excellent option to plant a small garden that is not tied to the traditional food sources. Even during a drought, the average person can water their crops enough to feed a whole family. SurvivalSeeds.org offers the best Seed Banks on the market because they use premier heirloom seeds and give you double the amount of other companies.
The bottom line is this. Year 2013 is going to be even more expensive when it comes to food. The root cause is the unprecedented drought in 2012 as it makes its way down the processing chain and onto store shelves. The pain of more expensive food, or a shortage can be completely offset but taking control of your food supply with a Seed Bank or Survival Seed Kit.