Effect of Midwest floods on this year's harvest?

We’re already dealing with a global food crisis that has caused riots in several countries – arguably a food-distribution crisis but production is at least a part of it – and the U.S. is a major food exporter. How badly will the recent floods in the Midwest hurt this year’s harvest, and what will be the wider economic effects?

(Not exactly a political question, let alone religious, etc., but I’m not posting this in GQ because it’s a question about the future with, at present, no definite factual answer.)

How much of the U.S.'s food production is actually damaged? Is this amount atypical?

I dunno, but I know the Midwest is often referred to as our “Breadbasket.”

According to Agriculture Online:

DISASTER. OK, I overstate. But this is pretty bad. Iowa’s lost like a third of its maize, who knows how much else. And Iowa is the Biggie. It’s too soon to say what all has happened, but there’s tons of Illinois (2nd Biggie), Missouri, and Wisconsin hurting. Add that to the drought in the Southeast, and I confidently predict a much less than bumper crop this year. Resulting in major dollars for whoever’s crops DO come in, as futures contracts go nutcase high. Expect more expensive food in pretty much all categories. The Third World could find things even more dicey than they already are.

I found a graph of U.S. corn production

Looks to me like there are always a lot of ups and downs.

Okay, let’s assume a loss of 25%, slightly worse than 1993. Now we’ve quantified that, what does it mean?

There was extensive & detailed discussion about this on NPR this morning & yesterday morning.

Upshot (as I remember it): look for milk, meat & eggs to be much higher in about 6 months.

npr.org undoubtedly has more.

Last time corn production dropped was 2001 to 2002. Production dropped by 6%, prices increased by 17%.

However, total food expenditures from 2001 to 2002 increased by 2.7%.

From 1993 (the last big flood) to 1994 food expenditures rose 4.2% (same link.)

In Indiana, the ag people are saying the next 10 days are crucial. July is too late to plant corn here. After that, it’s soybeans, if they can plant anything at all. So, more expensive ethanol and tortillas. Hoosier farmers are eligible for disaster relief, whatever that means this year. Maybe they get poisonous trailers, if the northern Indiana trailer factories aren’t flooded out. :rolleyes:

Wild-caught catfish meat ought to be plentiful.