Storm Delays to Corn-Planting Adds to U.S. Food Chain Crisis
May 28, 2011 • 10:01AM

Wet, cold, or storm conditions have persisted in so many corn-producing counties, outside the core three states of the central Corn Belt (Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska, which account for 50% of the U.S. crop), with the result that corn planting has been delayed, or already-sown fields have been ruined, all adding up to what will be a disastrous fall in national corn production, alongside losses in wheat and rice. Corn and soybeans are principal livestock feed, so that the ripple effect through the food chain is a disaster.

The situation in Ohio makes the point. This state has been so soaked by the wet weather, that only 11% of its cornfields were planted as of May 22, compared with over 80% in recent years. Seeding hasn't been so slow since a bad bad Spring 15 years ago. Some farmers may try to switch to soybeans, which has a shorter growing season, and can potentially be planted up to the end of June, depending on the latitude. Other farmers are giving up on crops this season, and preparing their insurance claims, for "prevented planting."

The same situation is playing out in many other states. Indiana, the neighbor state on the Ohio River, also is behind in seeding corn, and at the deadline period for planting. Ohio accounts for over 6% of the national corn crop in recent years; other states have the same or lesser amounts, so adding their losses and reduced yields all together, the decline in the 2011 U.S. corn harvest is guaranteed.

What about Nebraska, Iowa, and Illinois? No matter that the corn "looks good" in Iowa right now: This state—typically accounting for 19% of the total U.S. corn harvest—can't make up for losses in the other areas, not to mention the obvious fact: Who says there will be three more months of good growing weather in Iowa?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is still lying and prevaricating, following White House policy. In March, the USDA issued a rosy corn plantings intentions forecast, of a prospect of 92.2 million acres to be seeded to corn, which would be the second largest year since World War II. No way this will happen. Millions of acres will not be planted, will not be harvestable at all, or will produce at only reduced yields.

For example, the USDA chose to assert that North Dakota will increase its corn acreage by 22% this year! In fact, with the wet Spring, the state will be lucky to maintain the 2 million acres it had in recent years.

The USDA corn acreage forecast was a deliberate myth; it backed up the Obama Royal Green genocide policy of asserting that there are no trade-offs with corn-ethanol and the food chain! The forecast also ignored the reality of the patterns of extreme weather. The Obama policy is to cut resources for capabilities to forewarn and respond to weather disasters.

A Michigan farmer yesterday told a Senate Agriculture hearing, with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack present, that the USDA is overstating U.S. grain crop projections.

On May 31, the USDA is to issue a crop progress report. The United States accounts for 40% of the world's total corn production.