Drought-ridden Texas harvest could make life leaner next year
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, inflation, supply-chain chaos, and a tough Texas growing season are all resulting in worries over a possible future food supply shortage.
An expert says there may well be reason for concern after a drought-ridden Texas summer harvest.
“Most of Texas was in a quite severe drought. It was very dire there in early August. There was not going to be any water available for vegetable planting. We didn’t have irrigation water for us here in the Rio Grand Valley; vegetable planting was on hold,” said Texas A&M Horticulturist Dr. Juan Anciso.
The supply-chain disruption started with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Compounded by the war between Russia and Ukraine, both of which are major wheat exporters, it contributed to food inflation.
“We’re a far cry from saying everything is great. I would say what we’ve had is good enough for the coming year, but if we don’t continue to get rainfall, we’ll be in the same position next August,” Anciso said.
According to Mercy Corps, a humanitarian organization that distributes aid to the needy globally, the main constraint to accessing food is decreased purchasing power coupled with increased food prices.
“Seed costs are up, fertilizer is up, labor cost is up, the trucking is up. If those things don’t get resolved, I’ll say we’ll have high vegetable costs,” Anciso said.
Next year, this could become a supply issue.
“I hope it never happens, but I’m sure there are people that said a pandemic will never happen,” he said.
However, there is some reason for optimism.
“I do know the American farmer. They have the technology to produce food quickly in the U.S.,” said Anciso.
Ukraine and Russia have reached an agreement brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that allows Ukraine to resume grain exports, offering some relief to global markets.
Copyright 2022 KLTV. All rights reserved.