Food shortages - it's not just the price of grains

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From the NY Times (use Bug Me Not for registration):
Shortages Threaten Farmers� Key Tool: Fertilizer
XUAN CANH, Vietnam � Truong Thi Nha stands just four and a half feet tall. Her three grown children tower over her, just as many young people in this village outside Hanoi dwarf their parents.

The biggest reason the children are so robust: fertilizer.
A bit more:
Some kinds of fertilizer have nearly tripled in price in the last year, keeping farmers from buying all they need. That is one of many factors contributing to a rise in food prices that, according to the United Nations� World Food Program, threatens to push tens of millions of poor people into malnutrition.
And this bit about the scope of the shortages:
In the United States, farmers in Iowa eager to replenish nutrients in the soil have increased the age-old practice of spreading hog manure on fields. In India, the cost of subsidizing fertilizer for farmers has soared, leading to political dispute. And in Africa, plans to stave off hunger by increasing crop yields are suddenly in jeopardy.

The squeeze on the supply of fertilizer has been building for roughly five years. Rising demand for food and biofuels prompted farmers everywhere to plant more crops. As demand grew, the fertilizer mines and factories of the world proved unable to keep up.

Some dealers in the Midwest ran out of fertilizer last fall, and they continue to restrict sales this spring because of a limited supply.
It is a long (two pages) and sobering article. We are in for some years of pain before the global economy realigns itself and things get better. Sometimes market forces are not a good thing... The article ends with this quote from Dr. Norman Borlaug:
�This is a basic problem, to feed 6.6 billion people,� said Norman Borlaug, an American scientist who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his role in spreading intensive agricultural practices to poor countries. �Without chemical fertilizer, forget it. The game is over.�

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