A Corn Crisis!

I visited Kansas City, Missouri last week for a national conference. While the plane landed and again when Super Shuttle brought me to my destination, I noticed multiple fields of dead corn stalks. It was much cooler in MO, than when I left southern California, but obviously they were having problems too. I knew we had an unseasonably hot summer across the states, but I had no idea how bad it had become.

Over the past year, I’ve noticed the price of corn has been increasing, because I regularly purchase a corn, oats, barley (COB) mixture as a top coat for my horses. I’ve also noticed hay has increased quite a bit too. A year ago, All Pet Feed Store had an article on the wall about the increase in corn prices, indicating a relationship to the rise in hay costs too. On my last visit they were out of COB, but had a oats, barley available mix instead. Why do should you care about my increased feed prices? Apparently corn has increased 57% since June 15.

Actually, the corn thing really grabbed my attention when my favorite local Mexican restaurant stopped providing endless bowls of chips with dinner to mitigate costs – and shared their reasoning on Facebook. As you can imagine, many complaints were voiced on their Facebook page. Now most of the complaints were from people who I am sure didn’t realize about these soaring costs – so don’t go on that Facebook page & be mean or snarky to my neighbors. 😉 It was just weird timing with my recent trip to the land of dead corn fields. BTW: Not only have I noticed the increase, but my city has recently declared municipal bankruptcy. Yeah. That could be a whole series of blogs. But, I digress. So, I’m sure The Mexico Cafe has less customers, or maybe customers who are spending less money at their establishment. Bottom line: I wasn’t too surprised they needed to raise some prices. At least it was only on a second bowl of chips! Gotta stay focused on the positives. Right? Remember, I survived losing my parents, and then my house & belongings in a fire a month later. I said it then, and I’ll say it now – things can always be worse. But, I don’t want them to be worse!

So, basically expect your grocery bill – not just a mexican restaurant bill to increase too. Cows, hogs and chickens also depend on corn. Corn is used in sweeteners, oils, chips, tamales, baby food and other pet foods as a filler. There are even non-food industries that use corn as a filler. But, most importantly the U.S. biofuels use corn – apparently 40% of the corn. I’ve read other articles that state for every 10 ears of corn, only 2 are used for food.. There are calls to Washington to stop using corn as a fuel and only allow the animals and people to use it for food. There is growing concern about a global food crisis. One has to wonder if we should export the corn for food, rather than exporting it for fuel.. Final fuel note: I have also noticed that airlines have had a few price increases this year too.

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