By John Galt
August 28, 2011 – 22:45 ET
From the South Korean news agency Yonhap August 29, 2011:
SEOUL, Aug. 29 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s rice production is forecast to hit a 10-year low this year due to shrinking farm land and lower yields caused by unfavorable weather conditions, a state-run think tank said Monday.
According to the Korea Rural Economic Institute, rice production is expected to reach 4.12-4.24 million tons this year, down 1.2-4.0 percent from the previous year’s harvest of 4.29 million tons.
This year’s harvest could hit the lowest amount in 10 years. Rice production has been on a decline since 2001 when it came to 5.51 million tons.
Heavy rains and other extreme weather conditions led to the shrinkage, it added. Declining farm land was also cited as a reason for the lower output.
The institute said that the final figure will hinge heavily on weather conditions until next month as sunlight exposure during that period determines about 74 percent of annual output.
A smaller harvest could lead to a hike in the price of rice, a major staple grain for Koreans. Rice prices are closely monitored by the government which has been striving to keep inflation in check.
If one starts to add up the problems, no matter the solutions of dollar dilution or a new deliberate policy of dollar appreciation will offset the shortages and potentially skyrocketing prices for primary foodstuffs around the world. The reports of the U.S. corn and wheat crops falling short, problems in Thailand and Vietnam with their rice crops, and the unknown variables of war, currency instability, and other climate events should have anyone with common sense preparing for the worst case scenario no matter what nation one might reside in.