Business, Finance & Economics

Wheat prices soar

(The longterm trend is that the price of wheat is going down, but now it's going up, how come?) bad weather in wheat growing regions, the price of oil. Nitrogen fertilizer uses natural gas, but also the diesel used on farms to plant wheat, the way we grow produce is dependent on fossil fuels. The new wild card is ethanol and biofuels: now that we're using grain to feed our cars there's a lot of competition for grain. People who might've been growing grain are growing corn. Another factor is we no longer have green reserves in this country. the government used to hold large reserves of grain for crisis like this. It's like our strategic oil reserves. Now grain reserves are interesting because they allow the government to buy grain when it's cheap and sell it when it's expensive so they can even out these price spikes. So the government has gotten out of protecting against price spikes and that's a serious mistake. (Should we be talking seriously about what can be done in terms of production and distribution?) Well there probably is enough food to feed everybody if we weren't feeding much grain to both our cars and animals. There is a long term trend towards very short grain supplies. It takes a lot of grain to eat meat, so if everybody wants to eat this way, then we can't survive this way. However if we act as if grain is food for people, there would be plenty and that kind of realignment will happen, I think.

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