Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has revised its outlook for food production upwards, yet again, for the 2017/2018 calendar year.
FAO estimates world cereal supplies in the 2017/18 season will rise to an all-time high of nearly 3.33 billion tons, resulting in world cereal inventories (stored stocks) being projected to climb for the fifth consecutive season, rising to a record high level of almost 726 million tons. FAO’s forecast for global cereal production in 2017 is expected to top 2016 production levels by 16.8 million tons, an increase of 0.6 percent, following a sharp upward f revision of 13.4 million tons made this month.
FAO’s estimates for the production of coarse grains increased by 24 million tons from 2016, 1.8 percent, mostly driven by higher estimates for maize production in the United States from increased estimates of yields, and Indonesia, due to expanded plantings.
Global stocks of wheat (13 million tons above last years levels), coarse grains, and rice (0.6 percent above last years levels) are each forecast to set new records in 2017.
Though FAO doesn’t address the cause of the persistent year-over-year record-setting cereal grain production, numerous studies, many of which have been summarized at co2science.org, indicate at least part of the credit for the food bounty is due to the fertilization effect of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which increases growth and improves crop water use efficiency.