Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Food Shortages in the U.S.?

Farm Policy carried this quote:
“‘Because we are a nation that hasn’t really experienced food shortages in recent memory, folks forget the role that [farmers] play on a lot of different levels,’ said Mike Torrey, executive vice president of Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau, a lobbying group for the crop insurance industry.”

Got me wondering: when was the last time we had food scarcity in the U.S.? I mean something serious, not just a price spike.  I don't think ever, though maybe back in 1816, when I remember it was the year without a summer. (My memory for long ago times is good.)
My bottom line: the controlling factor is our land and climate.  Whether we have 9 million 40 acre farms or 90,000 4,000 acre farms we're going to have enough food, Mother Nature willing. I think farm programs and crop insurance work mostly to modify the churn, the "creative destruction" which is found in the farm economy.  Despite all the government interventions, at bottom crops are commodities produced and sold in relatively free markets where usually the buyers have lots more market power than the sellers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

DPSA at 7175 Troy Hill Drive in Elkridge, MD is another example of government bureaucracy at it's worst. This place is actually a secret facility that is basically a "middle man" between various sub organizations around the US and the world and their higher headquarters located at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington DC. This place cost over 30 million dollars to put in place and spends 4 times that much every year on absolutely useless information and services.