(PresidentialWire.com)- Glenn H. Reynolds, better known on social media as Instapundit, has written an opinion piece for the NY Post that discusses what we are currently experiencing at our grocery stores – the emptying of shelves.
We’ve seen them, and heard the reasons. The supply-chain was disrupted, Putin has caused inflation, the pandemic…
Reynolds argues that there is a much more dire problem ahead on the horizon. The response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russians, heavy sanctions by the west, may trigger a reduction in food production itself. It won’t be a matter of our inability to get goods to our stores via the supply chain, there might not be all that much to deliver.
Russia is a major supplier of wheat, a foodstuff that is a staple in much of the world’s kitchens. They are also the world’s biggest producer of fertilizer. This is a double whammy. The invasion of the Ukraine will put a strain on any chance of a robust bumper crop of wheat this year, and our farmers will have to look elsewhere for fertilizer to grow our own.
Reynolds also reminds us that the second largest producer of fertilizer is China, and our relations with them are also strained. This is a second double whammy. Our own wheatfields, he estimates, would see a reduction in production by as much as 40% if we cannot prepare the soil for maximum output.
Global markets, he notes, are already showing signs of this looming disaster. Urea, a key ingredient in fertilizer is up 22%, as well as potash (of which Russia is the largest supplier.) Brazil’s market has seen a 34% rise, and they are the world’s leader in the importation of fertilizer.
Basic “starter” fertilizer is up nearly 50% this year and likely to go higher. Reynolds warns that these rising production costs will force farmers to either raise prices on consumers, or they will cut back on the use of fertilizer, which will make crops scarce.
He also reminds us that the exploding price of gasoline and diesel fuel will also contribute to this mess. He suggests we brace ourselves for eye popping price increases at the checkout line.
As the rest of the world scrambles to deal with these issues, we have already seen some responses that have triggered very serious humanitarian disasters. Reynolds reports that a green experiment in Sri Lanka, where they abandoned artificial fertilizers, resulted in “brutal and swift” consequences. Green solutions cannot sustain or produce the demand for food, and Sri Lanka was forced to import rice, a staple that they were long self-sufficient in producing. Their tea market was also upended.
The writer implores that we get ahead of this problem much sooner than later. He ends his piece by stating that “the world’s policymakers need to take a less casual approach to the well-being of the world’s population.”
It’s a clarion warning that we have to take action on. It’s simple. No food, we die.
It doesn’t get any more cut and dry than that.
You can read the full piece HERE