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September 25, 2012

World Wide Bacon Shortage? A Porkocalypse?!?

Oh friends I knew it was coming..... Have you seen the shocking headlines?

Porkocalypse: Next Year May Bring a Worldwide Bacon Shortage

Bacon, pork shortage 'now unavoidable,' industry group says

Say It Ain't So: Bacon Shortage May Be Coming

Europe's pork and bacon supply is contracting fast

Our bacon supply is safe. No shortage here!

Its the drought, people. The chickens are coming home to roost and they won't be bringing any bacon. Remember how I've been yowling on and on about how the drought is gonna impact everyone. This could be the worst hit to you non-pig owners. Stock up on your bacon now while the gettings good or say g'bye to your bacon fix.

Altho there are a lot of great jokes to be said and a ton of hyperbole to be spun.... all kidding aside, this really is the first wave of food related issues that we'll be seeing. The hard truth is that conventional farmers can't afford the corn and soy to feed their livestock. The price of meat hasn't changed, if anything its lower, so farmers are paying more in feed than what they will make on each head of pork (or beef). Its a losing proposition and no one would be foolish enough to play that game. So farmers are cutting their losses and selling off their stock earlier than normal just so they don't have to pay for the feed. And what incentive is there to take on a new crop of porkers? If anything feed prices will keep going up.

Initially there will be a wave of lower prices but then there will be people fighting in the streets over a package of bacon, so the prices will eventually go up. But since the pork herd levels are so low...there's no big new crop of porkers coming up behind the sell off... folks can charge what they want for bacon and other pork products.

Unfortunately the next wave of larger pork herds will depend on a good corn harvest - which won't happen until this time next year. If we are lucky. If the drought goes on into next year, or we get another spectacularly wet spring like we had before, or some other crazy thing happens and we don't get a good grain crop next year. Well. It could be bad for everyone.

And still the mandates are still in place that a certain amount of the woefully small corn harvest is destined for ethonal production. Food or fuel? When they put these measures in place the idea of food or fuel was widely poo-poohed as an outlandish suggestion. But now look at us. Sure we can make jokes about a world without bacon is a desolate and unfriendly land.

But think about how it all slides downhill.  We might not starve because of lack of bacon. But other people in poor countries will be fighting over what little resources there are left. And what are we gonna say? "Well you know tough too bads for you."

What's the answer? I dunno. Someone smarter than me needs to figure that out.  But for us, thinking about the impending bacon doom, we are so glad we have our own food supply. We figure those porkers are gonna be worth their weight in gold pretty soon. Now who am I kidding? You'll have to pry that bacon out of my cold dead hands.

Raising your own meat, on pasture - and not dependent on expensive grains - seems to be a good idea right about now.

Lots to think about this morning, people. Just for good measure I'm gonna have some bacon today. I know there's more on the way.

Have a good Tuesday, everyone, and get yourself some bacon!