Ready or Not #262: Corn and Costs

What an odd year.  What a dry, hot, smoky year.  I know that there is a lot of flooding in the east, but here in the west it is bone dry.  Except for last weekend when it rained a couple of days and made everyone nervous about the potential mudslides for families that are living below the burned areas.  Now it is back to being hot and bone dry again.

It isn’t enough that we have had to endure the hot weather and the fires around the state, but now we are going to have to endure rising food costs over the next year.  My son is farming this year.  He is growing feed corn and a bit of alfalfa and so we have been listening to the agriculture channel on TV.  We have been paying special attention to the crop futures and how crops are doing nationally.  Apparently, not too well.  Now is the time that you will be grateful for your food storage.

In the mid-west (America’s bread basket) the corn crop is doing really poorly and in some cases the cornstalk grew, but no corn was on the stalk!  Feed for all of the animals are shooting up and dairy farmers are, in some cases, trying to get rid of their cows because the feed costs are more than what they can get for their milk!  Another problem this year, especially here in Utah – or potentially anywhere that cows graze, is that the cows that should still be grazing in the mountains can’t because all of the grass was burned up in the fires.  Now what do the ranchers feed them?  The cost of hay is going to go up.  Right now farmers are still harvesting the alfalfa, but it won’t be enough to replace all of the grazing that was lost.  Yep, beef prices are going to go up.

But I wouldn’t panic for two reasons: 1) you are prepared to supplement your food budget with your food storage and 2) everything is cyclical.  We have been in this situation before and we have lived through it – it is just easier to live through it with food storage.

Just know that corn is used for more than just eating corn-on-the-cob.  It is used in just about everything from diapers, to fuel and so much more – everyone will be affected by the rising cost of corn whether you eat corn or not.

Now, before the harvest and before the magnitude of this poor crop yield is felt, it would be a really good time to sit down with your food budget and assess what you need to do to supplement and build your food storage while food is still somewhat affordable.  Adjust your budget and don’t let it take you by surprise.

And keep in mind that fuel prices will probably raise too.  I don’t know why, but it seems like every time food prices rise, so does the fuel.  Why is that?  I think that there is going to be a lot of budget re-figuring going on this year.

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