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The Causes of Rising Food Prices

Written By: Bruce Walker  |  Posted: Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

          Food prices are rising quickly around the world. Part of the problem is weather. The winter wheat crop in China has been poor. Australia has suffered floods, while Russia has undergone a drought. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan, no doubt, will hammer the very intensive agricultural production of the limited arable land on that archipelago.

            Weather-related agricultural problems, however, balance out fairly quickly. Mythical "global warming" aside, weather has ups and downs, and farmers, who are smart folks, take that into account. The Soviet Union, whose vassal state the Ukraine was once one of the best farmlands on earth, never managed to feed its people well, because a communist-controlled economy destroys incentive. But of course the communists always laid the blame elsewhere. The standing joke about Pravda reports of winters that were too cold or summers too hot was that Soviet agriculture suffered from "50 years of inclement weather."

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