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China – Where Will Food Come From?

History_of_China

Touch the Soil News #706 Bloomberg News recently reported that China is scratching its head as to how to feed its 1.4 billion people in the future. China can’t feed its people today on its own as it must import millions of tons of staple crops each year. The problem is that by 2050 there will be another 2 billion people (besides the Chinese) that the world will have to feed. Much of China’s original farmable land has been urbanized, industrialized and polluted, leaving it unable to feed itself. China has 290 million acres of prime farm ground – roughly two tenths of an acre per person. The U.S. has…

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China / U.S. Food Tremors

Soybeans_Schoharie_Crossing_State_Historical_Site,_Fort_Hunter_NY_2802_(4030012002)

Touch the Soil News #608 Hitting the Chinese political landscape is farmland. China is grappling with how much farmland they must have for primary crops. Land for primary crops (arable) does not include pasture for livestock that has limited food capacity. Today, China has about 329 million acres of primary crop land – about the same as the U.S. has. Trouble is, China has four times as many people to feed as does the U.S. China’s goal of permanently preserving a core amount of farmland equal to 300 million acres is important, but not enough. The U.S. is rattling sabers on implementing higher import fees on Chinese imports to the…

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China – Looking for Food

Soybeans

Touch the Soil News #279 While Chinese national and corporate interests now own millions of acres in countries around the world – including chunks in the United States, these resources are not enough to feed its 1.4 billion people. Estimates are that China controls between 12 and 15 million acres in other countries for food production. However, while that may sound like a large number, there are other ways that China gets food into its nation – outright purchases of basic agricultural commodities that are imported. For the 2015 agricultural season, it is projected that China will import 80 million metric tons of soybeans. Soybeans are the foundation feed for…

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WOW – World’s Largest Food-Purchase in One Day

Shopping Trolley / Grocery Cart Cut Out

Touch the Soil News #194 Most of us would not use soybeans in a typical meal. However, we will eat meat most every day from animals fed soybeans. So, to make the point, soybeans are a foundation of modern diets. Now, in one day – September 24, 2015 – Chinese officials (visiting Iowa – signed 24 contracts to buy U.S. soybeans worth $5.3 billion. Now that’s what we can call a grocery shopping record. In actual volume, these contracts call for buying 13.2 million metric tonnes of U.S. soybeans (a metric tonne is 2,205 lbs.). China will use these soybeans primarily to feed livestock and poultry. In number crunching terms,…

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Palm Oil – A Food Goliath Run Amok (Part 2 of 2)

Rainfoesrtconversion

The overtaking of rainforests for farmland to produce palm oil has environmental and social organizations crying foul. The goal is to limit corruption in governments and greed in the multi-national corporations developing palm oil plantations over rainforests. While there is corruption and greed, are they the root cause of the situation? Is it the financial and economic opportunity created by a hungry world causing the greed and corruption? The causes of deforestation include a world looking for cooking oil at an affordable price. In addition, decades of loss of best top soils in the U.S., Europe and China, have pushed agriculture into the rainforests. As we quoted in Part 1,…

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How to Recognize a Farming Short Circuit – a Precursor to a Food Crisis

CornPiles

March 31, 2015 │USDA, Washington D.C.  Every year at this time, the USDA issues an estimate of what acres will be planted to the four (4) major crops for the coming year. It is not common knowledge that the market-play of the four major crops is a precursor to a food crisis. They are called major crops because they dominate – by acres – the land farmed in the U.S. – and to some extent the world. America’s 913 million acres of farmland are divided into two main categories – cropland and pasture. Of the 913 million acres, 324 million are in cropland and 589 million in pasture. On some…

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