UK Food Security & Price Inflation

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John

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UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« on: June 13, 2023, 11:33 »
In my last diary blog I mentioned my concerns that the flooding of Ukrainian farmland was causing shortages and a jump in wheat prices which, in turn, was going to further inflate UK food prices. Well itís worse than I thought..

I fear we're sleepwalking into real problems and the time to take action was a year ago.

Full post here: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
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Yorkie

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2023, 22:06 »
I fear that hindsight may well prove you to be right in due course  :(
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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coldandwindy

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2023, 07:43 »
"Whatís really crazy is that managed grazing of pasture sequesters more carbon than tree-planting."

Do you have a source for that please?

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John

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2023, 10:09 »
Mainly from Richard Perkins (making small farms work) and Joel Salatin.  I believe there was a French study some years back. The concept is that grass grows quickly and produces roots to match the growth above. Along comes a ruminant and eats the grass, leaving nutrients on the land. The ruminants move on. The grass roots that are no longer needed die off putting their carbon into the soil ecosystem. The grass regrows and produces new roots starting the cycle again.
Managed grazing (AKA mob grazing) duplicates that natural cycle.
I understand that neither Perkins or Salatin are primary sources but both are knowledgeable and have looked at the science. Perkins explains it in his book Regenerative Agriculture and in brief in this video Grass, Grazing, Carbon Sequestration

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vikingraider

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2023, 08:06 »
Is this scaremongering?

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mumofstig

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2023, 08:50 »
Is this scaremongering?
I think not - but read the given source material (and there is much more out there) and make your own judgement.
If I had more garden space, I would be growing more veg, but I am making sure my pantry is full. It's that simple IMO

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vikingraider

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2023, 08:55 »
The link is full of 'might', 'could' and so on. But I agree mumofstig with your later point, the more we can grow for ourselves the better, for many different reasons

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John

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2023, 11:09 »
The link is full of 'might', 'could' and so on. But I agree mumofstig with your later point, the more we can grow for ourselves the better, for many different reasons
Yes there are a lot of grey areas - which I'm clear about. If you put on a blindfold and wander across the M25 you might get run over, it may be risky
However, the facts are there unless you don't believe the sources quoted. What gets me is I know people haven't a clue about the global food situation or supply and demand economics. There is very little slack so removing 10% of the supply will inevitably increase prices.

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vikingraider

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2023, 12:10 »
I checked global wheat prices earlier and they are roughly the same today as they were in Dec 2021. And the price of ammonium nitrate imported fertiliser today was £321 per tonne(roughly). Down from £1000 per tonne last May, and half of the £640 per tonne in Dec 2021

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coldandwindy

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2023, 12:40 »
I understand that neither Perkins or Salatin are primary sources but both are knowledgeable and have looked at the science.
Thank you. I was wondering if you'd seen recent research behind your comment.  Perkins and Salatin get their science from Allan Savory who started the whole 'mob grazing to mimic wild herds' idea. You'll find his theories have mostly been debunked .
According to a 2016 study published by the University of Uppsala, the actual rate at which improved grazing management could contribute to carbon sequestration is seven times lower than the claims made by Savory. The study concludes that holistic management cannot reverse climate change.  A study by the Food and Climate Research Network in 2017 concluded that Savory's claims about carbon sequestration were "unrealistic" and very different from those issued by peer-reviewed studies.

HOWEVER I take your main point - I do believe food prices will continue to increase. Thank goodness we on here can grow our own. We may need to remember our neighbours with spare produce.

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John

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2023, 12:49 »
I checked global wheat prices earlier and they are roughly the same today as they were in Dec 2021. And the price of ammonium nitrate imported fertiliser today was £321 per tonne(roughly). Down from £1000 per tonne last May, and half of the £640 per tonne in Dec 2021
Don't forget there are lead times which will take time to filter through.

Anyway - we'll see next year if I'm worried about nothing and we've stocked up for no good reason. Hopefully I am (worrying about nothing)
As for scaremongering - I wondered if people would see me expressing my concerns like that. Fact is, if I'm going to only write things that won't possibly upset a few people then I won't bother.
Or in the words of Phil Collins - I Don't Care Anymore


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vikingraider

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2023, 13:15 »
I agree things take a while to filter through, unless it's an increase, the day after conflict started food prices went up, no year long lag there. Nothing personal John, one of your books used to be my gyo bible when we first moved in to our house

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John

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Re: UK Food Security & Price Inflation
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2023, 14:07 »
According to a 2016 study published by the University of Uppsala, the actual rate at which improved grazing management could contribute to carbon sequestration is seven times lower than the claims made by Savory. The study concludes that holistic management cannot reverse climate change.  A study by the Food and Climate Research Network in 2017 concluded that Savory's claims about carbon sequestration were "unrealistic" and very different from those issued by peer-reviewed studies.

I know Perkins is a practical farmer and wouldn't advocate managed grazing if it didn't improve the land. Still, given time you can find studies to back up any position, that's how science works. Pretty sure I had a pdf from Bangor uni that said the same about managed grazing but I can't  find it at the moment.

Here our 3 acres are improved with richer, deeper top soil due to moving to controlled grazing of the sheep. Basically they'd been scalped year after year until we found a smallholder with sheep willing to look ahead. I assume they're holding in more carbon than the near lifeless mineral it was when we took over.

To quote Mr Perkins in small part as I don't want to breach his copyright:

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Trees are slow to sequester carbon, relatively expensive to establish and often lock up good farmland from production. They obviously have good value upon harvest, but that might be 40- 80 year cycles. Trees are important in farm landscapes and the wider landscape as a whole as climatic stabilisers and modifiers, but using grassland to sequester carbon can be very fast, producing a lot of quality food at the same time.






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