Standing in front of a field of shriveled ears of corn, President Obama unveiled a government plan to help out farmers and livestock producers.
The federal government, he declared, was prepared to spend up to $170 million dollars on meat, thanks to his executive directive.
“We’re not just talking about a few strips of bacon here,” the President insisted. “It turns out that the federal government buys a lot of meat for military bases, hospitals, colleges, food banks and cafeterias, and because of the drought, there are a lot of folks out there that are trying to sell meat right now.”
Up to a million dollars will be used to buy pork products.
As I noted yesterday, livestock producers are suffering due to a corn shortage, due to the drought hitting the Midwest this summer. That puts livestock producers in a tight spot, due to the high cost of feed.
But they are in even more trouble, thanks to an ethanol mandate requiring that 13.2 billion gallons of corn starch-derived biofuel be produced in 2012. Forty percent of the nation’s corn crop now goes to ethanol producers, compared with 36 percent for feed.
With high feed costs, livestock producers are forced to slaughter their herds, rather than spending the money on expensive corn to keep them alive. If you have a freezer, now would be the time to fill it, as the cost meat is expected to drop at the expense of livestock producers.
Thanks to the president’s “meat plan,” however, the government plan will prop up the price of meat in order to help producers rather than relaxing the ethanol mandates. “We’ll freeze it for later — but we’ve got a lot of freezers,” Obama explained in Iowa.
But while Obama’s “meat plan” will absorb the meat surplus in 2012, the cost of meat will skyrocket in 2013, when production slows down. The Department of Agriculture has already predicted a 4 percent jump in beef prices in 2013, and a 2-3 percent jump for poultry, eggs, and pork.
This year, stock up and save by filling up your freezer in advance. But hurry, Obama is already at the store emptying the shelves for the government’s big bloated shopping cart.