A CBS News article recently declared that “food prices soar as incomes stand still.” This as portions of eleven states have been declared disaster areas by the federal government.
California farmers are going to leave half a million acres sitting idle this year because of the drought conditions. Experts are saying that are probably going to get worse before they get better. In addition, National Geographic recently stated that throughout history, it has been common for this region of North America to experience severe droughts that last for decades. One such drought actually lasted for almost 200 years. This gives rise to the possibility that the drought in California may not end during our lifetime.
Most people don’t realize that 2013 was the driest year on record for the state of California. So far, 2014 has been exceptionally dry also. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 91.6 percent of California is experiencing “severe to exceptional drought.”
Since California is one of the largest agricultural regions in the world, the effects of any drought are huge. About 80 percent of California’s freshwater supply is used for agriculture. The cost of fruits and vegetables could soar.
Hardest hit would be annual row crops such as tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, cantaloupes, garlic, peppers and corn. Consumers can also expect higher prices and reduced selection at grocery stores, particularly for products such as almonds, raisins, walnuts and olives.
The rest of the nation is extremely dependent on the fruits and vegetables grown in California.
According to Tim Quinn, the executive director of the Association of California Water Agencies, “There are places in California that if we don’t do something about it, tens of thousands of people could turn on their water faucets and nothing would come out.”
Consider that the Sierra Nevada snowpack is only about 15 percent of what it normally is. Experts are offering dire warnings. The current drought has already eclipsed previous water crises, like the one in 1977, which has been called the “Great Depression” of droughts. Most Californians depend on the Sierra Nevada for their water supply
Much of the western United States has been exceedingly dry for an extended period of time and this is hurting huge numbers of farmers and ranchers all the way from Texas to the west coast.
Ranchers in the West are selling off their livestock and Farmers all over the Southwest, from Texas to Oregon, are fallowing in their fields because of a lack of water.
#12 The size of the U.S. cattle herd has been shrinking for seven years in a row, and it is now the smallest that it has been since 1951. But our population has more than doubled since then.
Laughingly, the government says food prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011. However, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has gone up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it’s on sale.
Just be aware of what is happening. Consider storing a food supply for your family, even if it is only for 2 or 3 months. With rising prices and jobs being lost, it may very well get your family by during a very difficult time.