Grain is the New Copper


daryl mitchell, flickr

We have covered the issue of copper thefts before, but now that agricultural commodities are getting so valuable, thieves are going after them as well. According to Kevin Libin in the National Post, a Manitoba farmer had his truck stolen, emptied of seed, and returned. "It's somebody that knew what they were doing," the farmer said, adding that he suspects the $10,000 load of seed, the price of which has tripled in 12 months,"probably isn't too far from here."

In Kansas, police began investigating nearly a dozen reports of thieves driving their trucks up to farm bins and siphoning out tens of thousands of dollars worth of wheat. A bushel of spring wheat, which has historically traded between $3 and $7, has spiked as high as $24 in recent weeks.

In California, it's almond rustlers.

Libin writes:

Over the past three years, soybean futures have tripled. The market has been just as bullish for oats and corn. Farms have become treasure troves for looters.

A report from the Washington, D.C.,-based think-tank, the Urban Institute, calculated losses from agricultural thefts in the United States are now US$5-billion -- though the real figure is perhaps 10 times higher, because uninsured farmers often don't report their losses. Those producers with thousands of bushels stored might not even notice their missing grain for months. ::National Post

See also Meth Heads Go For Recycling, Where Are Their Scruples? Thieves Steal Copper from Windfarm and Big Brother is Watching (and Yelling?)