Remember in February, when a fertilizer magnate raised the specter of widespread famine if any of the globe’s big farming regions hit a rough patch this year?

Here’s what he said:

If you had any major upset where you didn’t have a crop in a major growing agricultural region this year, I believe you’d see famine. … We keep going to the cupboard without replacing and so there is enormous pressure on agriculture to have a record crop every year. We need to have a record crop in 2008 just to stay even with this very low-inventory situation.

Essentially, he’s saying that the global food system now hangs on good weather. Uh oh.

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From the FT:

Bad weather is threatening a big shortfall in this year’s U.S. maize harvest, according to U.S. officials, risking a further upward push to food and energy prices.

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Perhaps rather than diverting food crops into ethanol refineries, we should be building up grain reserves. Just a thought!