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Focus This Week Food, Natural Gas, Europe and the U.K.

Word this week is focused on prices for produce grown in California. Fruit and vegetable prices will increase sharply due to the drought. You can expect price increases on fruits and vegetable. Ironically nut prices should not rise. Tomato prices will not be the only problem, there is a severe shortage so expect empty shelves. Expect limits and high prices on everything from spaghetti sauce to stewed tomatoes, salsa, ketchup and anything needing tomato products. When eating out expect higher prices on Italian foods, pizza, and the tomato soup with your grilled cheese. Stock up on tomato products before this year's crop is processed and wholesale prices go up.

You can also expect oat prices to stay high as spring planting was delayed.

Natural gas prices are skyrocketing, a fourteen year high. It is up 70% since last June. This is true in the United States but even more so in Europe. Most googled word in Germany last week was firewood. Prices on fuel is up almost 500%.

Winter is coming and much higher heating prices are on the way. This is not only true for those heating with natural gas but everyone heating with electricity. Generating facilities for our electric supply use natural gas to make electricity.

What are people most concerned about in the United States and in Europe? Food, fuel and shelter. All went up last month. Companies reducing their work force is also up. Interest rates are up meaning shelter will continue to go up as will loans for cars, appliances and other items that need replacing will also go up.

Now for the U.K. Yes they are facing the same price hikes and shortages. In addition they are dealing with a crazy bad drought. Britain is now on track to see 19% inflation next year. With winter approaching an 80% increase in heating prices is projected in Europe.

Drought is awful here with rivers drying up and reservoirs at critical levels. In Texas the Paluxy river has dried up and 100 million year old dinosaur tracks revealed. Two-thirds of Europe is under some sort of drought warning, in what is likely the worst such event in 500 years.

The latest report from the Global Drought Observatory says 47% of the European continent is in "warning" conditions, meaning soil has dried up. Another 17% is on alert - meaning vegetation "shows signs of stress".

In Britain people were warned “irrigation options are diminishing with reservoirs being emptied fast”, and losses of between 10% and 50% are expected for crops including carrots, onions, sugar beet, apples and hops. Milk production is also down nationally due to a lack of food for cows, and wildfires are putting large areas of farmland at risk. Farmers are deciding whether to drill (plant) crops for next year, and there are concerns that many will decide not to, with dire consequences for the 2023 harvest.

In Britain it was the driest July since 1885, the hottest temperatures on record, and the River Thames reached its lowest level since 2005 leading to a drop in reservoir levels in the Thames Valley and London. Latest restrictions: “Domestic customers should not use hosepipes for cleaning cars, watering gardens or allotments, filling paddling pools and swimming pools and cleaning windows,”

Bottom line on all of this?

1. Food prices will continue to soar as farmers worldwide are faced with the difficult question about planting this fall. Crops due for harvest are just not producing worldwide.

2. Water restrictions will continue. Do you have a plan for water? We need to be focusing on food and water as we plan our self-reliance agenda.

Ask yourself how you can increase your efforts before it gets worse, it will. Please share the post below, concerning water, with friends and family those in the U.S. and those overseas.

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