Outlook for Production Agriculture
as of April 2019 (and April 2023 update)
Long Term Outlook
World population is increasing and more people require more food and fiber. In the ten years ending in 2000, world population grew 1.4% per year; during the next ten years, the annual growth rate was 1.2% and the annual growth rate from 2011 to 2020 was projected to be 1%. However, China’s change of policy from one child per family to two children per family became law in January 2016 and that may bump the population growth a bit more than predicted. Developing countries had 79% of the world’s population in 2000, but by 2027, 83% of the world’s population will reside in developing countries. Developing countries are not among the world’s leaders in food production. Thus, the more developed countries will have expanding markets for their food and fiber production. A very important aspect that politically correct world leaders and the media do not want to talk about is the decline of government stability, and thus food production, of nearly all of Africa. As African countries progressively gained independence and self-governorship, beginning in the mid-1950’s, thousands of years of tribal competition and racial prejudice progressively raised their ugly heads. A classic example is the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi tribe Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War which was directed by members of the Hutu majority government between 7 April and 15 July 1994. An estimated one million Rwandan Tutsis were killed with machetes, about 70% of the Tutsi tribe. Somali had no government at all when the US tried to arrest key “war lord” faction leader Mohamed Farrah Aidid in 1993 (movie: Black Hawk Down). Independence for Belgian Congo in 1960 resulted in five years of civil war. Since then, the governments have mostly been a revolving door of dictators. There are several other African countries with similar history of unstable governments. For 30 years, I reported corn production from South Africa as it was the third leading corn exporting country. However, as lawlessness increased after the end to Apartheid in the early 1990’s, food production has been in a steady decline. White farmers are being murdered in their own homes and fields by black thugs to this day and the government quietly looks the other way as the national policy is that all land rightfully belongs to and will be returned to people of color. Consequently, because South Africa's crop production declined, I stopped reporting South African corn production as their production has become rather insignificant in the world marketplace. The first civil war in Sudan was from 1955 to 1972 and the second civil war was from 1985 to 2005. Since 2003, violence in Darfur Province of Sudan has left an estimated 50,000 to 80,000 dead and an estimated 1.2 million to 2 million people displaced. Survivors face severe shortages of food and clean water. Sudan is the largest country in Africa. Meanwhile, Libya and, to a lesser extent, Egypt have fallen into chaos at times the past ten years. Nigeria has had civil wars off and on since the transition to self-government in 1960 to 1963. Sadly, world leaders blame global warming for the steady decline of food production and GDP on the African continent since 2005. I see no return to the stability of food production in Africa until world leaders get their heads out of the “global warming” sand trap and deal with the real problem. https://theconversation.com/climate-change-is-hitting-african-farmers-the-hardest-of-all-40845 As food production declined in Africa, world demand for corn, wheat and beans has increased the past ten years to the tune of 19.9% for wheat, 55.7% for corn and 54.8% for soybeans according to the USDA. Not only is the world population increasing demand for food, every year, hundreds of millions of the world’s people, most notably in Asia, are moving from poverty and lower economic classes into the middle class. With more income, these former poverty-stricken people have the capability to buy higher quality food. That means they are moving away from grain-based diets to fish, dairy products, poultry, pork and beef. While liberals decry animal agriculture as being inhumane and wasteful use of grain, the fact is people like to eat animal protein and, given the financial opportunity to buy animal protein, they will. Having a lack of grain to feed animals to meet the world’s growing demand for animal protein is a problem only in the minds of ignorant people.
The USDA’s World Supply and demand Reports are at: https://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity/wasde/index.htm
Environmental Reports: Food Matters:
Historically, demand for increased crop production was driven largely by wealthy countries in North America and Europe, and this population will be joined by an additional 3 to 4 billion people already on Earth who are getting wealthier, mostly in India and China. Richer people tend to want richer foods, including meat and dairy products. It’s likely that two-thirds of the growing crop calorie demand will result from growing affluence.
Each of the past four years, US farmers have produced corn and bean yields that were more than the trend yields for each of those years contributing greatly to depressed prices that have generally been at or below the cost of production for most producers. Generally, American farmers are quite discouraged about their P&L outlook as they prepare for the 2019 growing season. None-the-less, world food production needs to increase 70% in the next 30 years to feed 9.6 billion people in 2050.
April 2023 Update
https://www.biznews.com/sa-investing/2023/03/13/south-africas-expropriation-bill-poses-threat-property-rights After five consecutive years ending in 2018 with corn and beans yields above trend yield, the past four years have seen actual yields average significantly below trend yields.
Wheat and rice are the top food staples (consumed almost every meal) for the world with corn a distant third. World consumption of wheat has exceeded world production three consecutive years and rice consumption has exceeded world production two consecutive years.
Cereal grains are wheat, rye, sorghum, rice, oats, barley, millet, quinoa, and corn. On March 30, 2023, the International Grain Council (IGC) projected 2023 will be the seventh consecutive year that world consumption of cereal grains will exceed world production of cereal grains.
In 2009, The Paris Agreement was signed in which richer (industrialized) countries agreed to give by 2020 $100 billion US dollars a year to developing nations to compensate them to not industrialize and pollute the world as the developed countries had already done.
By the end of 2020, the total contribution was $83.3 billion. The goal of $100 billion a year was expected to be reached in 2023. It is not going to happen.
The agreement has created bitterness among all nations. Not only are the “have nots” clamoring for their “free” money from the “haves,” both groups are arguing amongst themselves over who will give how much and who will receive how much. Worse yet, the “have nots” are doing very little to improve their food producing capacity through infrastructure improvements, adaptation of crop production technology, etc. They are sitting on their butts waiting for the free money as their food producing capacity declines.
The Paris Agreement is the primary reason world cereal grain production has been in decline since 2017 as 2020 was supposed to be the year of $100 billion free money. Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris Agreement, but Biden put the USA back in the mess. Of course, all developed countries are being stressed financially by expensive social policies, a declining workforce, increased retiree population and war.
Rain Days Update
The 6 to 10 day forecast updated every day at: https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/
Explanation of Rain Days