August 19, 2014 (Investorideas.com renewable energy stocks newswire) With grain providing much of the calories that sustain humanity, the status of the world grain harvest is a good indicator of the adequacy of the food supply.
More than 2 billion tons of grain are produced each year worldwide, nearly half of it in just three countries: China, the United States, and India.
Corn, wheat, and rice account for most of the world’s grain harvest. Whereas rice and most wheat are consumed directly as food, corn is largely used for livestock and poultry feed, and for industrial purposes.
Global grain consumption has exceeded production in 8 of the last 14 years, leading to a drawdown in reserves.
Population growth is the oldest source of increasing grain demand. In recent years, the annual growth in grain use has doubled, largely a result of increased use for fuel ethanol and livestock and poultry feed.
In 2013, the United States harvested more than 400 million tons of grain. Of this, 129 million tons (30 percent) went to ethanol distilleries.
Rising yields are the key to expanding the grain harvest as there is little unused cropland. Since 1950, over 93 percent of world grain harvest growth has come from raising yields.
The global grain area planted per person has shrunk from about half an acre (0.2 hectares) in 1950 to a quarter acre (0.1 hectares) in 2013.
At 10 tons per hectare, U.S. corn yields are the highest of any major grain anywhere. In Iowa, some counties harvest up to 13 tons per hectare.
Global average grain yields more than tripled from 1.1 tons per hectare in 1950 to 3.5 tons per hectare in 2013. However, yield growth has slowed from 2.2 percent a year between 1950 and 1990 to 1.4 percent in the years since.
In France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, wheat yields have been flat for more than a decade. The story is similar for rice in Japan and South Korea.
World fertilizer use climbed from 14 million tons in 1950 to 181 million tons in 2013. But in many countries, fertilizer use has reached diminishing returns.
Since 2007, the world has experienced three major grain price spikes. The U.N. Food Price Index indicates that grain in 2014 was twice as expensive as in 2002–04.
Rising global temperatures threaten the world’s major food crops; the “rule of thumb” is that each 1-degree-Celsius rise in temperature (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above the growing season optimum can cut productivity by at least 10 percent.
Published at the Investorideas.com Newswire - Big ideas for Global Investors
Disclaimer/ Disclosure:The Investorideas.com newswire is a third party publisher of news and research as well as creates original content as a news source. Original content created by investorideas is protected by copyright laws other than syndication rights. Investorideas is a news source on Google news and Linkedintoday plus hundreds of syndication partners. Our site does not make recommendations for purchases or sale of stocks or products. Nothing on our sites should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell products or securities. All investment involves risk and possible loss of investment. This site is currently compensated by featured companies, news submissions, content marketing and online advertising. Contact each company directly for press release questions. Disclosure is posted on each release if required but otherwise the news was not compensated for and is published for the sole interest of our readers. More disclaimer info: http://www.investorideas.com/About/Disclaimer.asp
BC Residents and Investor Disclaimer : Effective September 15 2008 - all BC investors should review all OTC and Pink sheet listed companies for adherence in new disclosure filings and filing appropriate documents with Sedar. Read for more info: http://www.bcsc.bc.ca/release.aspx?id=6894. Global investors must adhere to regulations of each country.