U.S. Cattle Herd Is At A 61 Year Low And Organic Food Shortages Are Being Reported All Over America

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If the extreme drought in the western half of the country keeps going, the food supply problems that we are experiencing right now are only going to be the tip of the iceberg.  As you will see below, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has dropped to a 61 year low, and organic food shortages are being reported all over the nation.  Surprisingly cold weather and increasing demand for organic food have both been a factor, but the biggest threat to the U.S. food supply is the extraordinary drought which has had a relentless grip on the western half of the country.  If you check out the U.S. Drought Monitor, you can see that drought conditions currently stretch from California all the way to the heart of Texas.  In fact, the worst drought in the history of the state of California is happening right now.  And considering the fact that the rest of the nation is extremely dependent on produce grown in California and cattle raised in the western half of the U.S., this should be of great concern to all of us.

A local Fox News report that was featured on the Drudge Report entitled "Organic food shortage hits US" has gotten quite a bit of attention. The following is an excerpt from that article...

Since Christmas, cucumbers supplies from Florida have almost ground to a halt and the Mexican supply is coming but it's just not ready yet.


And as the basic theory of economics goes, less supply drives up prices.


Take organic berries for example:


There was a strawberry shortage a couple weeks back and prices spiked.


Experts say the primary reasons for the shortages are weather and demand.

And without a doubt, demand for organic food has grown sharply in recent years.  More Americans than ever have become aware of how the modern American diet is slowly killing all of us, and they are seeking out alternatives.

Due to the tightness in supply and the increasing demand, prices for organic produce just continue to go up.  Just consider the following example...

A quick check on the organic tree fruit market shows that the average price per carton for organic apples was $38 per carton in mid-January this year, up from an average of just $31 per carton last year at the same time. At least for apple marketers, the organic market is heating up.

Personally, I went to a local supermarket the other day and I started to reach for a package of organic strawberries but I stopped when I saw that they were priced at $6.99.  I couldn't justify paying 7 bucks for one package.  I still remember getting them on sale for $2.99 last year.

Unfortunately, this may only be just the beginning of the price increases.  California Governor Jerry Brown has just declared a water emergency, and reservoirs throughout the state have dropped to dangerously low levels.

Unless a miracle happens, there is simply not going to be enough water to go around for the entire agriculture industry.  The following is an excerpt from an email from an industry insider that researcher Ray Gano recently shared on his website...

Harris farms has released a statement saying they will leave about 40,000 acres fallow this year because the FEDS have decided to only deliver 10% of the water allocation for 2014. Lettuce is predicted to reach around $5.00 a head (if you can find it). Understand the farmers in the Salinas valley are considering the same action. So much for salad this summer unless you grow it yourself.

The reason why the agriculture industry in California is so important is because it literally feeds the rest of the nation.  I shared the following statistics yesterday, but they are so critical that they bear repeating.  As you can see, without the fruits and vegetables that California grows, we would be in for a world of hurt...

The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.


As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better.

Are you starting to understand how much trouble we could be in if this drought does not end?

About now I can hear some people out there saying that they will just eat meat because they don't like vegetables anyway.

Well, unfortunately we are rapidly approaching a beef shortage as well.

On January 1st, the U.S. cattle herd hit a 61-year low of 89.3 million head of cattle.

The biggest reason for this is the 5 year drought that has absolutely crippled the cattle industry out west...

Back in the late fall 2013 there was a freak snowstorm that killed close to 300,000+ cattle. This is a major hit to the cattle market.


I know in Texas where they still have a 5 year drought they are dealing with, they are having to ship grass bails in from Colorado, Utah and other parts of the country just to feed the cattle. Ranchers are sending their female cattle to the slaughter houses becasue they can not afford to feed them anymore. It is the females that help re-stock the herd. SO if you are slaughtering your females, your herd does not grow. It is expected that the US will not see cattle herd growth returning until 2017, maybe even later.

This is a problem which is not going away any time soon.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. cattle herd has gotten smaller for six years in a row, and the amount of beef produced is expected to drop to a 20 year low in 2014...

The U.S. cattle herd contracted for six straight years to the smallest since 1952, government data show. A record drought in 2011 destroyed pastures in Texas, the top producing state, followed the next year by a surge in feed-grain prices during the worst Midwest dry spell since the 1930s. Fewer cattle will mean production in the $85 billion beef industry drops to a 20- year low in 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

It would be hard to overstate how devastating this ongoing drought has been for many ranchers out west.  For example, one 64-year-old rancher who lives in Texas says that his herd is 90 percent smaller than it was back in 2005 because of the drought...

Texas rancher Looney, who is 64 and has been in the cattle business his whole life, said his herd is still about 90 percent below its size from 2005 because of the prolonged dry weather. It will take years for the pastures to come back, even if there is normal rainfall, he said. About 44 percent of Texas was in still in drought in the week ended Jan. 7, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And it isn't just the U.S. that is dealing with this kind of drought.  The largest freshwater lake in China that was once about twice the size of London, England has almost entirely dried up because of the ongoing drought over there.

Meanwhile, global demand for food just continues to rise.

If this drought ends and the western half of the nation starts getting lots of rain, this could just be a temporary crisis.

However, the truth is that scientific research has shown that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and that we should expect things to return to "normal" at some point.

So is that happening now?

Over the past couple of years, I have warned that Dust Bowl conditions are starting to return to the western half of the United States.  Just see this article, this article and this article.

Now the state of California is experiencing the worst drought that it has ever gone through and "apocalyptic" dust storms are being reported in Colorado and Nevada.

Just because things seem like they have always been a certain way does not mean that they will always stay that way.

Things out west are rapidly changing, and in the end it is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child in the United States.

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mickeyman's picture

Why don't they just buy Chinese organic produce?

surf0766's picture

Isn't that grown from the runoff of making solar panels?

Stackers's picture

It's a good thing 90% of those California farms are artificially irrigated by one of the largest canal systems ever constructed .... uh ?

max2205's picture

This site just hit a new low...btfd?

Manthong's picture

dip? does that mean Ronald MacDonald is drooping?

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

60 year low, but just imagine what socialism and central planning in command economy can accomplish, maybe hit 18th Century level before long. How nostalgia for Lysenko and starvation in Crimea. Forward Holodomor!

BigJim's picture

Does this mean Americans will eat a bit less? *shudder*

samcontrol's picture

Argentine peso falling off the cliff against the shit paper dollar.

Buying farmland in Argentina has to be the no brainer play of 2014.

Hint and example.
Just paid my yearly taxes on winter chalet. 800m2 lot. 200m2 house.
MuniCipalidad 700 pesos
Rentas 980 pesos.

dólar went to 12 yesterday...

TheTmfreak's picture

Every time I read these articles about "organic food shortage" it makes me eye roll all over the place.

CAN"T FIND YOUR STRAWBERRIES? HUH? THEY"RE NOT EVEN IN SEASON FOR GOD SAKES. Its a mid Spring crop and its the fucking middle of winter for god sakes.

The article the other day bitched about cucumbers. Cucumbers are a damn summer crop. The headline shouldn't be "organic food shortage" it should be "americans waking up to the fact that the world doesn't work the way they want it to".

I personally haven't had a strawberry since last April. The only cucmbers I've eaten recently.... were pickles.

Citxmech's picture

"Americans waking up to the fact that the world doesn't work the way they want it to."

OMG -The horror! 

Sombody ought to make a law. . . 


Agstacker's picture

Bullish for soylent green!

OceanX's picture

The exotic pet store has meal worrms!  They don't need a lot o space and grow real fast, virtually 100% protein! Mixed wtih dough, you can make a very nutritous bread.



Vint Slugs's picture

Yes, this site just hit a new low...I'm thinking maybe it's time to STFNL.

Buck Johnson's picture

The next war in the world will be over resources (the first resource war of this generation).  It will be a fight over food, water, energy and including women to be honest with you.  The sick thing is that out west is going through a cycle that has it being dry for centuries.  Remember most of the water irrigation out west was done by artificial daming and capturing water from the melt from the mountains and rivers and diverting it to areas that where scrub. 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Do not confuse war with natural disaster or condition. All war is Bankster war.

X_mloclaM's picture

"fight over food, water, energy and including women to be honest with you."

None of these are natural.

Water is a cycle, and is misappropriated via a lack of private property, legal tender laws, monopoly of the production of money. Faster replacement of fresh water is possible with energy, unlockable through human innovation. Just as the social constructs that allow for the most efficient resource use. These are wars of wealth succubants, who rot the mind and moral via media, as lying becomes common, even celebrated practice in media and with those touted as leaders

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Okay, maybe energy is synthetic, but food, water and woman is natural. Okay, so maybe is not woman with synthetic augmentation so natural, but food and water is natural, no?

Now Boris is forget point. What is it we are speak of?

ebworthen's picture

Fewer farmers and more people.

Less arable land and water, and more people.

It's not a greenie or global warming article, it's about too many people and not enough resources.

Obese-Redneck's picture

If ma missus don't get her 64oz porterhouse on Friday night she is likely to get all sort of ornery with me. Well least I won't havta clean the poop out of the bathtub count of she can't fit on no ordnery terlet.

James's picture

Problem is that Ca. snowfall that feeds those canals is only 17% of normal for this time of year. The Polar Vortex over Ca. has pushed out the normal storm fronts  for some time now.

Ca. is a huge problem on many fronts.

LMAOLORI's picture


"Why don't they just buy Chinese organic produce?"


Better to grow your own if you can or buy from local farmers.



8 Million Acres of China's Farmland is Too Polluted to Farm; All Farm Products From China Suspect
MeBizarro's picture

Don't worry.  The US is already importing a lot more produce (it was mainly driven by seasonal demand during the winter) but increasingly we are going to import more and more produce items in the future inclduing from China. 

It would be nice if the US didn't have some of the most weak and horrendous food-labeling laws of any industrialized country in the world either so you actually did clearly know where you were eating food from and whether it was a GMO/irridiated product.  Crazy me for wanting to know that kind of stuff. 

Boris Alatovkrap's picture

More likely is heavy metal, alkali, or maybe even is lanthanoid.

(Boris is have joke, before Chernobyl, sit long time in hard control room chair, complain of hemorrhoid. Now, lay in hospital bed, only complain of lanthanoid.)

Citxmech's picture

But they're so green over there  - they even recyle cooking oil! (from the sewer drains, apparently)

(You'll have to find your own link - I don't want to puke before I finish my morning coffee)

MarcusLCrassus's picture

Because Chinese food is probably grown with the assistance of that gutter oil of theirs. 


Why the hell would you risk eating anything that came out of China?  You would either have to be stupid or crazy. 

X_mloclaM's picture

Snyder, wicked respect, but ", but the biggest threat to the U.S. food supply is the extraordinary drought which has had a relentless grip on the western half of the country" isn't valid if radioactive greens, rice, fruits grown in California come about from ongoing particulate radioisotopes in very small, but additive quantities.

Cesium's half-life is ~30yrs, short enough to emit more over a shorter period of time, but long enough to be an issue for humans, and in the instance cited.

Fuku is contaminating the Pacific, flotsam and jetsom, and to a small degree, in the air jetstreaming over perhaps suspended in H20 -- this accumulating in the soil of primarily the west coast of the US isn't an issue detectable today, but the groundwork is being laid for detectable Cs replacement (of K) in plant xylem -- the funny thing is, uptake is most efficient in organic soils!

Like with KI saturating Thyroid with clean Iodine (only for use in heavy, recent disaster as short I half-life), eliminating the prospect of absorbing a radioisotope of I, so too can KCl application saturate soils, such that plants discriminate K over Cs. The take away is eat fertilized greens, and encourage KCl application NOW, such that soils are prepared should FUKUPPY get worse



The Heart's picture

You are in the ball park, Malcom.

Repeat post from a few days ago:

As the lock-down looms closer, and the gates of hell are closing in on the good old USA, there are those who are paying attention. Thank goodness these two great patriots are. Listen to this great interview now and pass it on. Remember, THEY plan to have a lid on the country BEFORE the country finds out about how bad fukushima really is. THAT is why the govts do not care to help the People of the USA when it comes to protecting them from something that can not be protected from. The whole show is set to blow and it will do that after the chaos is started and no one has time to observe and take radiation readings. It will be all about mere survival in a land that is all going to hell fast. Leave it if you can, now!


This weather on the west coast was on the front burner of discussion earlier today.

We have seen a very unusual winter in the west/mid-west. It has been hotter than normal, and strange things are happening.

First, there has been no moisture to speak of. No rains on the west coast, or snows in the winter mountainous regions where there certainly should be. There are a few possible reasons why this may be happening.

Everybody knows about weather manipulation, Geo-engineering, and HAARP. It's all old news. Could they be manipulating the weather to keep the radiation off the California food belt?

Everybody knows about the constant ongoing pouring out of massive radiation into the air and ocean from fukushima with no end in sight, and the contamination around the world that has built up for almost three years now. It is still building up, and even more since the eruptions in December. Perhaps, even as far back as last summer, 2013.

What may be is, the plan to kill off the people is not greater than the plan to profit from them first at this time. Sucking the host dry is the banksters game in monopoly playing for the last dollar, and for the parasite. What is happening and why they are panicking is because this news about how bad fukushima is was not supposed to come out and go viral until AFTER the next false flag event to create the market crash, and or the martial law lock down that will come even after even a pop-corn fart happens any where, for almost any reason. Truth is moving their Population Elimination plan too quickly, and so this scares them because the evil is fast being exposed for what it is. A bottom line wholesale murderous agenda to kill off every breathing biological being on the planet.

Here are some supportive links around the weather manipulations that any third grader can pick up and piece together to see the possibilities. 

Phoenix Weather Report:



Precipitation Map:


(watch the precipitation disappear as it approaches the west coast)

Satellite Photos Show Pacific Storms Stopped Cold, Destroyed:


Grid Down talk with James Wesley Rawles:




As dry as it is already, the fires could be endless across the whole country. THAT, is the real concern and associated with these anomalous weather fronts that are seemingly holding off the rains and snows FIRST RADIATION FALLS ON THE CALIFORNIA FOOD CROPS. How sad that the profits to the very end, and taxation of the people, are more important than protecting them with the tax dollars they pay to do just that. Protect them. The desire to not ruin the fish and food industry with radioactive rain, as well as the entire economy of California and all it manufactures is the high priority. If it becomes jeopardized too soon, or it becomes known that most of the food coming from California is already contaminated, well, lets hope that does not happen, but it would be a serious situation for the people to find out about. Surely, there are a few here that can expound on what exactly that would mean. THIS, is also why we see the constant media dis-information propaganda to dissuade the populace from finding out the horrible truth about how bad the contamination already is.

Who is responsible for protecting the American People, anyways?

All we have to do is watch daily to see what happens next knowing something is going to happen soon. Are you prepared for say, a grid take down? A false flag event more horrible than 9/11? What's going to be the next distraction, or false flag event to take the attention off the real number one world issue of the continuing ongoing contamination of fukushima on the dying west coast, and long dead Pacific Ocean? There is only one higher priority and that is an incoming ELE comet. For now, it is the race between the economy crashing too soon, the ongoing fukushima contamination becoming known too soon, a fake flu pandemic causing the martial law and the foreign invasion, another world war, or any other bankster created event. Who knows?

Pray for peace and sanity in the land where the gardner is King!

samcontrol's picture

nice links

bastards of Basel...I like that.

michael63636's picture

Gentlemen, we have hit peak bullshit.

The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

If you have not learned to grow some food by now, please do this spring. The system is being taxed no pun intended.

El Vaquero's picture

No pun, but two correct meanings in one.  The government is taxing an agricultural system that is being taxed by drought and unsound farming practices.  Yes, learn how to grow some food.  Stick to open pollinated stuff.  Heriloom, or some local landrace varietes.  Don't get varieties that require products from heavy industry or petrochemicals, because it's best to learn how to grow stuff like that now when the pressure to get it right is not how well you will be eating. 

michael63636's picture

Grow it in closed cycle greenhouses. Google Eurofresh.com. They have 58 acres out of 320 acres that are closed cycle greenhouses.


GOOGLE = gmo testes


Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

"This study was just routine," said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies....



GMOs were banned for good reasons in Europe decades ago.  Europeans do not have their heads up their ass like Americans. Putting labels on them is bullshit!

Campaign to outlaw them!

The genes and the RNA transfer agent used to get the GM genes into organisms survives the digestion process and enters the bloodstream.  Then all over the body our cells make the BT neurotoxin. It is destroying our ability to have children.  The gene floats on the wind and carries the BT gene to plants around the world. This is the worst blunder the human race has ever made.  Monsanto may have genocided us. Outlaw the shit now!

Russia Warns Obama of World War over Monsanto GMO Food a


Putin "the bee apocalypse WILL MOST CERTAINLY LEAD TO

World War Bee.Vladimir Putin says war may break out over GMO's


AVN | Russia threatens GLOBAL WAR over Monsanto's destructi

GOOGLE = Gmo bt gene dropping fertility


1.    Doctors Warn: Avoid Genetically Modified Food - Institute for ...
In the US population, the incidence of low birth weight babies, infertility, and ... Geneticengineers insert Bt genes into corn and cotton, so the plants do the killing.
1.    Organics versus GMO: Why the debate? | Genetic Literacy Project
Oct 15, 2013 - You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food...... pests that actually attack the crop through the use of Bt corn and Bt cotton? .... is the one that has Monsanto's stock prices dropping: the French study of six ... We as a nation are already having fertility issues after a decade of GMO.

1.    Genetically Engineered Foods May be Far More Harmful than We ...
Weston A. Price Foundati...
Oct 23, 2013 - Not only was there a dramatic drop in rate of disease and medicine bills, he says, ... Many farmers who were struggling with high rates of infertility and ... The bacterial gene that produces the Bt-toxin is inserted into GM crops.

icanhasbailout's picture

I learned to grow food specifically because it was a rare non-taxable productive activity where I could increase my wealth without having a million hands grabbing for a share of it, and taking the bulk of the literal fruits of my labor.

TheMeatTrapper's picture

I learned to grow food specifically because it was a rare non-taxable productive activity where I could increase my wealth without having a million hands grabbing for a share of it, and taking the bulk of the literal fruits of my labor.

This is the truth! This is also why I taught myself to trap - meat. I have a full years supply of steroid free, organic meat in my freezer. 

When I trap my food, I don't have to earn (and pay income tax on) the money to buy the food. I don't have to buy the food at the store (and pay sales tax). I legally avoid feeding the system by feeding myself. 

Anything we can do to starve the beast while feasting upon the fruits of our knowledge and labor is well worth doing!

Learn To Trap

tip e. canoe's picture

thanks for the link.   genius idea on the catfish trap.   i'm assuming this works for other fish (same size) as well?   how often do you check it?

have you seen the movie Happy People?   all about trappers in Siberia.   check out dude's skis:


favorite line : "We are all killers or their accomplices.", said as he's skinning a sable.

(hattip: fonz, thanks man)

hedgeless_horseman's picture



I learned to grow food specifically because it was a rare non-taxable
productive activity where I could increase my wealth without having a
million hands grabbing for a share of it, and taking the bulk of the
literal fruits of my labor.


In addition, home-grown food tastes better and is better for you.

Home-grown grass-fed beef stew with carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes.

michael63636's picture

It is not steroidfree.  The steroids from other food sources go into the environment and contaminate all living things on this planet, including wild meat.

Kprime's picture

wish I could give you two gardeners a 1000 thumbs up.  I am doing the same thing the past 3 years.  I cannot tell you the satisfaction I get eating a tomato, bursting with unbelievable flavor, that has come to me as free as possible from taxation.

In addition, we heat with wood supplied with our own manual labor.  We trade services around the rural area.  No one pays.  We don't even have a taxable trade association.  No Sir, all help is simply a gift.  What a friendly group.


we assess every effort, every trade, and every purchase on it's level of taxation.  We are moving as far away from taxable situations as possible.

tip e. canoe's picture

Gift exchange is a companion to transformation.

(market exchanges will always seem inappropriate during transformation.)

~Lewis Hyde

PeakOil's picture

Dmitry Orlov's 5 Stages of Collapse discusses trust, gifting and exchange in detail. A most insightful book.

michael63636's picture

Best news I have ever heard.  Keep up the good work! Now begin building closed cycle greenhouses with hydroponic solutions for growing your food.  Next design a chemical engineering process to turn raw sewage into hydroponic solutions.  Add the trace elements that are deficient in our bodies, food and fertilizers, and composts and manures.  Purify your sources of essential elements of all toxic elements.  Now you are on your way to long term survival!

SDShack's picture

To Hell with growing veggies, all you have to learn to do is grow weed. It's the ultimate cash crop. Can be grown indoors year round and the demand is only going to grow exponential. Soon every gubment is going to realize it's the best way to raise money. Tax the growers and the users. Weed will be legal in every state in no time because gubment will see it as a cash cow. Never mind that people consuming it get more hungry and have to eat more. All that matters is it generates money for the gubment and keeps the sheeple content. It's the new superfood. I'm not kidding about this. Watch what happens. Hell, I bet Monsanto already has GM strains of weed ready to patent.

Dr. Engali's picture

It looks like somebody else made it on Zero's enemies list:


That news aside. Thank goodness for a generous deer harvest this year. I'm long bow hunting and vegetable gardens.

ACP's picture

Not only that, but hooker addict Senator Menendez is also getting investigated again, after crossing Zerobama.

Not that I care about his career, but shows just how how much tolerance Zerobama has for dissent.

tip e. canoe's picture

love this comment below the article:

To quote from apocalypse now… charging someone with campaign fraud in this country is like handing speeding tickets out at the Indy 500

mickeyman's picture

The natural climate of California is supposed to include some dryness--but with the amazing amount of agriculture in the place, that just isn't acceptable. Do the farms there normally require a lot of irrigation? With the way groundwater resources are getting depleted everywhere (especially China and India) is there any way to get back to a real 5% GDP growth?