World Counting on US Crops amid Soaring Food Prices
State College, Pa. 10 March 2011 — AccuWeather reports with soaring food prices putting strain on family budgets in the U.S. and raising concerns for civil unrest across parts of the globe, there are major concerns about what will happen if prices continue to rise.
The U.S. plays a vital role, being the world’s biggest exporter of wheat and corn. People across the globe are counting on these U.S. crops to come through this year.
According to AccuWeather.com Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, there are concerns about how the weather this year will affect both the wheat and corn crops.
Corn, especially, is a major concern with supplies being the tightest they’ve been in 15 years, according to Mohler. “That’s after a very good production year in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, in 2010,” he added.
Mohler said the tight supply is primarily due to high demand with a growing world population and increasing amounts of the corn crop going toward ethanol production.
“The weather has generally been favorable for the world’s major production areas over the last several years,” Mohler said, “but the favorable weather needs to continue. If not, there will be a huge stress on the world’s supply, especially if adverse weather affects the U.S. crop.”
Mohler is concerned that wet soil in the Midwest could slow early planting efforts this spring. Corn is usually planted in April in the Midwest.
“In a worst case scenario, it is possible that some fields may be abandoned, never planted or replaced by another crop,” Mohler said.
In addition, if planting is delayed too long, Mohler said the maturity period of the crop could be pushed back to the point that the crop may get damaged by an early frost in the fall.
The nation’s primary corn-growing region, the Corn Belt, spans an area from Nebraska and southern Minnesota to Ohio.
The corn planting situation will be monitored by AccuWeather.com in the coming weeks, so keep checking back for updates. There will also soon be releases on weather-related concerns with wheat and other U.S. crops.
By Heather Buchman, Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com