DailySA: Farmers ditch corn for soy while fertilizers spike – Forward Observer

DailySA: Farmers ditch corn for soy while fertilizers spike

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Friday, 01 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • Farmers ditch corn for soy while fertilizers spike
  • China manufacturing slows down at alarming pace
  • Army brigade ready for war in Europe “within one week”
  • Congressman tries to revoke security clearances

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SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

FARMERS DITCH CORN FOR SOY WHILE FERTILIZERS SPIKE: American farmers are transitioning to crops that require less fertilizer to grow. A Bloomberg survey found that farmers intend to plant about 2 million more acres of soybeans this year with a corresponding 2 million acre decrease in corn. The Green Markets North American Fertilizer Price Index is up 43% since the Russian invasion and up 233% to $1,270 per ton since the start of the 2021 growing season. (Analyst Comment: Rising fertilizer prices caused by increases in the price of precursor materials as well as export restrictions by China and Russia on fertilizer shipments to “unfriendly” countries will likely cause food shortages and general havoc in agricultural markets this year. – M.M.)

CHINA MANUFACTURING SLOWS DOWN AT ALARMING PACE: China’s factories are experiencing the heaviest decrease in manufacturing activity in two years. The slowdown is being driven by COVID lockdowns in its major manufacturing and transportation hubs and from declining orders due to the Russia/Ukraine conflict in Europe. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 48.1 last month, down from 50.4 in the previous month. A reading of 50 in the index separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. This is the steepest decline since February 2020. A sub-index for new orders also declined at the sharpest rate since February 2020, when the first wave of coronavirus cases hit Wuhan. (AC: Chinese health officials announced today that the COVID lockdown in Shanghai will now be extended indefinitely. The sharp decrease in manufacturing activity and orders will likely impact China’s economy well into 2024. – M.M.)

ARMY BRIGADE READY FOR WAR IN EUROPE “WITHIN ONE WEEK”: Sen. Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), questioned General Tod Wolters, Commander European Command, on the effectiveness of Army Prepositioned Stocks in support of U.S. Forces deployment to Europe in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Gen Wolters replied that the Army Prepositioned Stocks were critical to being able to move a U.S. Army Brigade Combat Team into theater and have them ready for operations within one week. (AC: Prepositioned stocks of heavy equipment, such as tanks, armored fighting vehicles, and trucks, have been in the Army and Marines inventory for decades. The equipment is normally held at forward facilities or staged on large roll-on-roll-off ships to enable quick delivery to potential conflict zones. In this case, the 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) of the 3rd Infantry Division (ID) deployed to Germany and began live-fire training in less than one week. The 3rd BCT/4thID was also ordered to Europe on March 23rd. – M.M.)

CONGRESSMAN TRIES TO REVOKE SECURITY CLEARANCES: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced a resolution to remove security clearances from officials who “lied” about Hunter Biden’s laptop. More than 50 national security and defense officials signed a joint letter calling the scandal “likely Russian disinformation.” Subsequent investigations by law enforcement are ongoing, but multiple media outlets now corroborate the information. (AC: The national security officials, including former Secretaries of Defense and Directors of Central Intelligence, signed the letter during the 2020 election’s “October Surprise.” Revoking their clearances may not be possible, but their public credibility is now in question. Current and former U.S. officials’ stance further indicts the legitimacy and capability of the national government. – D.M.)

This week’s High Side briefings: Today’s Early Warning Roundtable discussion features sustainable food growing expert David the Good.

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