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    Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Agronomist Roger Elmore suspected trouble in July, when Iowa’s cool summer nights didn’t get as cool as usual.


    The evening heat, he knew, could mean a smaller corn harvest at a time when global food markets are so tight that anything less than a bumper U.S. yield can send prices higher.
    The world now faces a crisis in food prices that has its roots in those warm Iowa evenings. Since last summer, several events — floods in Australia, blistering drought in Russia, the threat of a poor winter wheat crop in China — have compounded concerns about the food supply and pushed world prices to the highest levels measured since the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization began calculating its index in 1990.
    For decades, the world was often swimming in surplus food because farmers were so productive. But rising demand has caught up, and reserves have become so tight that global food markets are vulnerable to even minor shocks. Many analysts say that higher, more volatile prices may be here to stay.
    Higher food prices may be here to stay - The Washington Post



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Surpluses will probably be a thing of the past. We need to get borderline 3rd world ag procedures into the 21st century in places like China, Russia, India, and especially Africa. Africa has huge potential but we're stuck with farmers with 50 wives so they can produce enough offspring to work the fields by hand. And while I am exaggerating there, I have heard a story of exactly that. We need some legit mechanization and stabilization in Africa to help meet demand.




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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Quote Originally Posted by BryceC View Post
    Surpluses will probably be a thing of the past. We need to get borderline 3rd world ag procedures into the 21st century in places like China, Russia, India, and especially Africa. Africa has huge potential but we're stuck with farmers with 50 wives so they can produce enough offspring to work the fields by hand. And while I am exaggerating there, I have heard a story of exactly that. We need some legit mechanization and stabilization in Africa to help meet demand.
    No, you need to end the government boondoggles like ethanol production, which were created to support agriculture prices. The return is not there, and it only compunds the problem.



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Quote Originally Posted by brett108 View Post
    No, you need to end the government boondoggles like ethanol production, which were created to support agriculture prices. The return is not there, and it only compunds the problem.
    but it helps keep my gas prices lower than they normally would be due to the middle east and japan problems. my lower gas prices are all that matters



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Somebody must agree with this (surpluses not going away), because farmland prices in Iowa are unreal right now.



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Quote Originally Posted by c.y.c.l.o.n.e.s View Post
    Somebody must agree with this (surpluses not going away), because farmland prices in Iowa are unreal right now.
    What's it up to now?



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Quote Originally Posted by brett108 View Post
    No, you need to end the government boondoggles like ethanol production, which were created to support agriculture prices. The return is not there, and it only compunds the problem.
    I am as anti-ethanol as you will get, but unless I am wrong the stuff left over after the corn alcohol is extracted is still fed to farm animals. The only thing that will change our surplus problem is likely to be Americans losing their taste for animal flesh. And one thing I know, I've been grilling various parts of pig and cow for the better part of 2 weeks since the weather has been changing. That is where the vast majority of our grains are going.


    Last edited by BryceC; 03-15-2011 at 09:29 AM.


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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dopey View Post
    What's it up to now?
    Good corn land is going for $8,000 - $10,000 dollars/acre.

    Edit: Closer to $8,000 than $10,000. That was a bit of a stretch.


    Last edited by c.y.c.l.o.n.e.s; 03-15-2011 at 10:29 AM.

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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Is this based on projections assuming that technology will never improve production?



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Based on projections, demand will mean we'll likely need 300 bushels per acre or something like that by 2025(?). I saw a presentation on it in the last year but I don't remember the exact date. The number was 300 bushels/acre in the not so distant future. I am a big believer in our ability to innovate but that would be Norman Borlaug style.




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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    There is plenty of potential for food supplies. If every person with a yard would replace the lawnmower for a garden tiller, they could feed their family all year. It is all about preference. Why have an evergreen tree in the back yard instead of an apple tree?


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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    We have not had the greatest crop here in the main corn belt for a few years now is part of the biggest probelm. The year that everyone was having good yields there was a test weight and condition issues. The answer is not to get rid of ethanol like a lot of people think. The people that think that don't get that ddg are a bi product that they take after making ethanol and then feed it to livestock. The crazy part that we are facing that the world popualtion is becoming more delevoped and the world demand continues to grow along with the popualtion growing bigger all the time as well. We have had just a multi year issue compounding to where we are now. What needs to happen is we have to have more acres and we need to grow bigger crops. Which a lot of R&D is being done to do so. Some of it falls on the farmers to that we might have to change our farmer practices as well. I just hope that the EPA and other gov. departments try to over regulates us as well. But all in all it will take more fertillzer and other things to grow bigger crops. The last time I checked everybody likes cheap food and cheap fuels. Well you can thank the farm industry we have here to that here in the US!



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    ethanol needs to go away.

    anyone who can't see the timing of the ethanol push several years ago coupled to the rise in commodities prices and land prices is blind.

    farmers in states who have never planted corn are now doing so. farmers in kansas who historically have raised wheat are now corn farmers. (first hand knowledge) what does that produce? simple supply/demand tells you if you have less wheat, the price will go up. that is happening all across the US.

    besides the grain farmer and the suppliers to the grain farmer, who has benefited from ethanol? please state your case.



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    Quote Originally Posted by CyPride View Post
    ethanol needs to go away.

    anyone who can't see the timing of the ethanol push several years ago coupled to the rise in commodities prices and land prices is blind.

    farmers in states who have never planted corn are now doing so. farmers in kansas who historically have raised wheat are now corn farmers. (first hand knowledge) what does that produce? simple supply/demand tells you if you have less wheat, the price will go up. that is happening all across the US.

    besides the grain farmer and the suppliers to the grain farmer, who has benefited from ethanol? please state your case.
    I'm not a huge supporter of ethanol (subsided ethanol at least), but what caused the massive price increases in the past?

    All commodities have been on the increase, and not all of it is related to supply and demand. Some of it is due to the monetary policy that is being pursued.



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    Re: Crop Surpluses a Thing of the Past?

    First of all when you look at developed countries in the world the United States ranks as one of the cheapest places to buy food.

    Secondly, the demand for grain worldwide has dramatically increased. The biggest reason for this is that the demand for meat is higher. For example in China the average meat consumption in 1985 was 20 kg, in 2011 that number is estimated at 54 kg! The population of China in that same time went from 1.051 billion to 1.4 billion. Calorie for Calorie it requires a lot more grain to transform into meat then flour. On average it takes 7 kg of grain to net 1 kg of beef, 4 kg to net 1 kg of pork and it takes 2 kg of grain to net 1 kg of chicken. Farmers are feeding aprox. 250 million more tons of grain than they did 20 years ago. So it must not all be going into ethanol.


    Last edited by Pille1895; 03-15-2011 at 12:17 PM.

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