It’s Supermarket Time

I’m not one who gives much credence to doom ‘n gloom predictions like this one.  But this is serious.

At this moment, millions of acres of farmland are underwater, and that is not going to change any time soon. When the flood waters came, they moved so rapidly that they literally picked up pigs and baby calves and carried them along. Roads, rail lines and entire small towns have been washed away, and so even if farmers had something left to sell they couldn’t get it to market anyway.

Just last Friday morning I gave a ride to an executive based out of Omaha, and I kidded her about the flooding in Nebraska.  She said, “It’s no laughing matter.  Omaha hasn’t flooded — yet — but it is essentially a little island in the middle of a state-sized lake.”

And Tyler concludes with this:

Food production in the United States is going to be way, way down this year. Prices at the grocery store are immediately going to start rising, and they are going to keep rising all year long. So now is the best time to stock up and to get prepared for what is coming. Our breadbasket has been absolutely devastated, and things are only going to get worse. The mainstream media seems to think that this is just another in a long string of major natural disasters that has hit our nation in recent years, but the truth is not so simple. This disaster is going to have a dramatic impact on our ability to grow our own food, and even if everything went perfectly from this point forward we are talking about a recovery that would take many, many years.

I believe him, and so should you.  We often talk at this here back porch of mine about SHTF scenarios.  This, I think, is going to be one of them.

So get out to the supermarket — now — and start laying in food supplies.  You all know which kinds to get:  stuff that has a lo-o-o-ng storage life, because there’s no telling just how long it’s going to take to recover from this.

Sure, we’ll probably just import foods from overseas;  but it’ll be costly, and if you think that foreign countries won’t use this catastrophe against us politically, I have a New York bridge to sell you.

Most importantly:  if you’re on a fixed income (as I am), your dollar is going to buy less and less food as prices start to climb.  I have about  three months’ supply of food on hand, and that is never going to be enough.  I already started over the past weekend, and I’m going to be doing it daily from now on.

So get going.

Oh, and I don’t think I need to remind anyone here about keeping your ammo lockers stocked, do I?


  1. It’s going to get worse.

    My friends in Wisconsin still have snow on the ground, and they keep getting more snow falling. When it melts, all that water has to go somewhere.

    It’s bad now. It’s going to get worse. If the floods went away, the farmers could start trying to rebuild, but I don’t see those waters really leaving any time soon. The upper-Midwest is essentially fucked for this year. God only knows how many farmers are going to be put out of business by this.

  2. I was a commercial pilot for decades. Mid-1980s, California was hit by similar floods; Sacramento was a seaport, a yuge inland ocean ‘as far as the eye could see’.

    But the Sacramento Valley is protected by all those dams, right? Nope. We stand downstream of a dam, and we see a massive structure hundreds of feet tall.

    Far upstream of the dam is mountains. As rain washes silt from logged areas, it stays suspended until the river is slowed by obstructions such as a dam.

    The silt settles. The vast reservoir transforms into a meadow.

    Pick a number of acre-feet capacity of the dam design.
    After a few years, certainly after decades, the amount of water the dam can hold is a tiny fraction.

    The result == kicking the disaster can down the road so the younger crowd gets the bill.

    Inherited debt for constructing the dam.
    Inherited debt for cleaning our mess.
    No wonder they are cranky!

  3. Relax and take a deep breath. Flooding, fires, and blizzards happen all the time. For millennia. Save some bucks and buy a nice bass boat if you live in such areas prone to flooding. Trust the free market to adjust.

  4. Think of it as a diet opportunity…or a chance to deep-six those damned ethanol subsidies and use food as food, instead of fuel.

  5. There is a lot more in play than the floods. China demand, trade war with China and increasing exports of corn/soybeans out of South America. Wheat market is stagnant since the whole world now grows and exports wheat causing US wheat acreage to be its smallest since 1900 era, Ukraine is selling heavily in the world market now. Flood impact on US wheat production, KS/CO/OK/NE/TX grow wheat but not 100% of US production, production will be affected but there is MI/OH/WI/OR/WA and other states growing it. NE raises a lot of cattle, which is their biggest loss, and grows corn/soybeans on irrigated ground both of which we have plenty of due lack of China buying, trade war and all. So Dak, No Dak are marginal producers and while it will hurt them, their production being reduced won’t kill us. IL/IA/IN are your big three for corn and beans, as in 800 lb gorilla, they will produce and will get in crops, balanced between corn and beans will be a question. Cheaper oil can keep ethanol demand down freeing corn for animal use and record bean stocks allow for decent prices on poultry/hog feed. Big issue will be China having an issue due shortage internally or smaller than expected Bzl and/or Arg crops which will affect world export market. If China has to come here after the trade bill is signed and they need a huge amount it will spike prices. China is currently suffering from African Swine Flu, spreading thru its southern border into southern Asia now too, which is decimating their pig herds, this reduces their immediate demand for corn/beans but will increase their demand for pork and chicken. The only place they can come for pork/chicken is the US. Later China will be in heavily for beans for meal to feed to pigs to rebuild their domestic production but by then BZL/ARG will be ramping up bean/corn production on their next cycle (they get 2 crops to our 1).
    I would suggest chicken, pork and beef for the deep freeze especially if it is on sale take advantage and use a vac bagger, then have sugar, flour, pasta and rice stored for the what if scenario. Am in the business of Ag Commodity Analysis, so standard disclaimer applies blah blah blah yada yada yada.

    1. Thankee, MPW. Always good to hear from someone who (unlike me) knows what he’s talking about.

  6. My wife is from a farming family and she has told me repeatedly that listening to a farmer on weather and growing conditions is like listening to a liberal Democrat on economics.

    1. ^^^ Truth.

      Farmer’s view of life goes something like this:

      If the sun’s shining, that’s bad because drought

      If it’s raining that’s bad because flooding.

      If you have the exactly perfect mix of sun and rain then your crops are doing great – but so are everyone else’s which floods the market with goods and depresses prices so nobody can make a profit.

      Makes me wonder why anybody would WANT to farm.

  7. You are slipping a bit old boy, I was doing the market run yesterday, within 1/2 hour of reading the reports on the extent of destruction. Loaded up on bread making supplies and long term storage meats (as in cured meats). The freezers are already full and canned goods are in ample supply.

    Out of experience growing up in a smallish 2nd world country, have always had food stocks for 3 to 6 months on hand. Might have to consider raising it to 12 months but space becomes an issue with that.

    And yes, in less than 60 days prices of all foods are going to rise, especially grains and meat. Then there is the idiot progressive effort to raise fuel taxes in my home state and others nearby, that is going to exacerbate the price rise even more.

    Women, children and middle class hardest hit, as usual….

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