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Record Low Temps Up To 50 Degrees Below Normal Threaten To Absolutely Wreck The Rest Of The Harvest Season

Record Low Temps Up To 50 Degrees Below Normal Threaten To Absolutely Wreck The Rest Of The Harvest Season

It isn’t supposed to be this cold in October.  The official start of winter is still almost two months away, and yet the weather in much of the western half of the country right now resembles what we might expect in mid-January.  All-time record lows for the month of October are being set in city after city, and this extremely cold air is going to push into the Midwest by the end of the week.  Temperatures in the heartland will be up to 50 degrees below normal, and unfortunately about half of all corn still has not been harvested.  Due to unprecedented rainfall and extreme flooding early in the year, many farmers faced extraordinary delays in getting their crops planted, and so they were hoping that good weather at the end of the season would provide time for the crops to fully mature and be harvested.  Unfortunately, a nightmare scenario has materialized instead.  A couple of monster snow storms have already roared through the Midwest, and now record low temperatures threaten to absolutely wreck the rest of the harvest season.

When temperatures get significantly below zero for more than a few hours, scientists tell us that it will kill standing corn

A significant freeze (28°F or colder for a few hours) will kill the whole plant, and any frost will act to defoliate plants, resulting in diminished grain filling for the seeds, especially on the upper half of the plants.

And right now we are facing a crisis because less than half of all U.S. corn has been harvested.

In fact, according to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report just 41 percent of all U.S. corn has been harvested so far…

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Historic Midwest Blizzard Has Farmers “Expecting Massive Crop Losses – As Devastating As We’ve Ever Seen”

Historic Midwest Blizzard Has Farmers “Expecting Massive Crop Losses – As Devastating As We’ve Ever Seen”

An unprecedented October blizzard that hit just before harvest time has absolutely devastated farms all across the U.S. heartland.  As you will see below, one state lawmaker in North Dakota is saying that the crop losses will be “as devastating as we’ve ever seen”.  This is the exact scenario that I have been warning about for months, and now it has materialized.  Due to endless rain and horrific flooding early in the year, many farmers in the middle of the country faced very serious delays in getting their crops planted.  So we really needed good weather at the end of the season so that the crops could mature and be harvested in time, and that did not happen.  Instead, the historic blizzard that we just witnessed dumped up to 2 feet of snow from Colorado to Minnesota.  In fact, one city in North Dakota actually got 30 inches of snow.  In the end, this is going to go down as one of the worst crop disasters that the Midwest has ever seen, and ultimately this crisis is going to affect all of us.

According to the USDA, only 15 percent of all U.S. corn and only 14 percent of all U.S. soybeans had been harvested as of October 6th

Only 58% of U.S. corn was mature as of Oct. 6 and just 15% was harvested, according to the latest data from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). North Dakota’s crop was furthest behind, with just 22% of corn mature and none harvested as of Sunday, while South Dakota’s corn was 36% mature with 2% harvested.

U.S. soybeans were only 14% harvested as of Sunday, 20 percentage points behind the average pace, USDA data showed. North Dakota and Minnesota beans were just 8% gathered while Iowa’s and South Dakota’s crop was only 5% harvested.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

‘Fall Armyworm’ Invades China; Wreaks Havoc On Agriculture Lands

‘Fall Armyworm’ Invades China; Wreaks Havoc On Agriculture Lands

China’s agriculture ministry warned in June that it found fall armyworms in 21 provinces, across 333,000 hectares of crops.

Fall armyworms (Spodoptera frugiperda) are a destructive garden pest that can destroy a variety of crops as well as grasses.

Chinese officials are worried about prevention and control measures of the pest might be failing, which could lead to crop losses this year.

Beijing warned fall armyworms could damage hundreds, if not thousands of hectares of crops, leading to possible food security issues for the country.

To counter the pest, China has requested farmers in the 21 provinces to use government-approved pesticides.

The “heart-devouring worm” – as locals call it – has spread almost 1,900 miles north since migrating from neighboring Myanmar earlier this year, now threatens 21 provinces and regions in China and could heavily impact the country’s grain output.

In Yunnan, a province in southwestern China, the pest has already destroyed 86,000 hectares of corn, sugarcane, sorghum, and ginger crops.

Fall armyworm started to spread through Africa and Asia in 2016, these pests, which are moths, fly 60 miles per night, is very challenging for farmers and governments to exterminate.

The pests have strained small farmers, who produce at least 90% of the country’s crop.

In hard-hit Yunnan, the local government has installed 3,500 monitoring sites at farms to observe the pests and agriculture conditions, the provincial agriculture bureau wrote to Reuters via email.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Farms Are Facing Their Worst Crisis In A Generation – And Now Here Comes Another Monster Storm

U.S. Farms Are Facing Their Worst Crisis In A Generation – And Now Here Comes Another Monster Storm

The combination of the wettest planting season in U.S. history, a catastrophic trade war with China and economic conditions that are brutal for small farms has produced a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers.  Farm bankruptcies have already risen to the highest level in 7 years, but many expect that they will soon surge to all-time record highs.  Due to the incredibly wet weather, millions upon millions of acres of prime U.S. farmland will not be planted with crops at all this year.  And millions of acres that do get planted will yield a lot less than usual because of the wretched conditions.  Meanwhile, the U.S. will export far less corn and soybeans than usual this year due to our trade conflicts with China and Mexico.  With much less international demand, U.S. farmers are going to have an increasingly difficult time trying to make a profit on anything they are able to grow.  In the end, thousands of farmers will not be able to recover from this crisis and will be forced out of the industry for good.

According to USA Today, “a near biblical parade of misfortune” has created “the worst farm crisis since the 1980s”…

American farmers already plagued by a near biblical parade of misfortune that includes years of low prices and a trade war with China are now grappling with record Midwest rain that will likely prevent a large portion of this year’s crop from even getting planted.

The troubles have created the worst farm crisis since the 1980s, when oversupplies and a U.S. grain embargo against the Soviet Union forced thousands of farmers into bankruptcy, experts say.

So we can definitely say that this is the worst farm crisis in a generation, but the truth is that this crisis is far from over.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Due To Cataclysmic Flooding, Millions Upon Millions Of Acres Of U.S. Farmland Will Not Be Planted With Crops This Year

Due To Cataclysmic Flooding, Millions Upon Millions Of Acres Of U.S. Farmland Will Not Be Planted With Crops This Year

It looks like 2019 could be the worst year for U.S. agriculture in modern American history by a very wide margin.  As you will see below, millions upon millions of acres of U.S. farmland will go unused this year due to cataclysmic flooding.  And many of the farmers that did manage to plant crops are reporting extremely disappointing results.  The 12 month period that concluded at the end of April was the wettest 12 month period in U.S. history, and more storms just kept on coming throughout the month of May.  And now forecasters are warning of another series of storms this week, and following that it looks like a tropical storm will pummel the region.  As Bloomberg has pointed out, we have truly never seen a year like this ever before…

There has never been a spring planting season like this one. Rivers topped their banks. Levees were breached. Fields filled with water and mud. And it kept raining.

Many farmers just kept waiting for the flooding and the rain to end so that they could plant their crops, but that didn’t happen.

At this point it is too late for many farmers to plant crops at all, and it is now being projected that 6 million acres of farmland that is usually used for corn will go completely unsown this year

There has never been weather like this, either. The 12 months that ended with April were the wettest ever for the contiguous U.S. That spurred other firsts: Corn plantings are further behind schedule for this time of year than they have been in records dating to 1980 and analysts are predicting an unheard-of 6 million acres intended for the grain may simply go unsown this year.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

American Soil Is Being Globalized: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland Is Now Owned By Foreigners

American Soil Is Being Globalized: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland Is Now Owned By Foreigners

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests.  So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”.  When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities.  But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen.  And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country?  There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed.  Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres.  The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state.  Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Crop Catastrophe In The Midwest – Latest USDA Crop Progress Report Indicates That A Nightmare Scenario Is Upon Us

Crop Catastrophe In The Midwest – Latest USDA Crop Progress Report Indicates That A Nightmare Scenario Is Upon Us

The last 12 months have been the wettest in all of U.S. history, and this has created absolutely horrific conditions for U.S. farmers.  Thanks to endless rain and historic flooding that has stretched on for months, many farmers have not been able to plant crops at all, and a lot of the crops that have actually been planted are deeply struggling.  What this means is that U.S. agricultural production is going to be way, way down this year.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are deeply alarming, and they should serve as a wake up call for all of us.  The food that each one of us eats every day is produced by our farmers, and right now our farmers are truly facing a nightmare scenario.

You can view the latest USDA crop progress report right here.  According to that report, corn and soybean production is way behind expectations.

Last year, 78 percent of all corn acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number is sitting at just 49 percent.

And the percentage of corn that has emerged from the ground is at a paltry 19 percent compared to 47 percent at this time last year.

We see similar numbers when we look at soybeans.

Last year, 53 percent of all soybean acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number has fallen to 19 percent.

And the percentage of soybeans that have emerged from the ground is just 5 percent compared to 24 percent at this time last year.

In other words, we are going to have a whole lot less corn and soybeans this year.

Farmers in the middle of the country desperately need conditions to dry out for an extended period of time, but so far that has not happened.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Floods And Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet – Could A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?

Floods And Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet – Could A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?

It looks like global food production could be well below expectations in 2019, and that could spell big trouble in the months ahead.  In recent weeks, I have written extensively about the problems that we have been experiencing here in the United States.  As many as a million calves were lost to the flooding that hit the state of Nebraska in March, farmers have planted less than half of the corn that is normally in the ground by this time of the year, and a lot of the crops that have been planted in the middle of the country are really struggling due to extremely wet soil.  But it isn’t just the United States that is facing a very troubling year.  Earlier today, one of my readers sent me an article entitled “Global food crisis ahead as extreme weather events devastate crops and fields around the world”which I would encourage everyone to read.  In that article, we are told that after the worst drought in 116 years Australia has actually been forced to import wheat.  And according to the Guardian, this is the first time in 12 years that this has happened…

Australia is planning to import wheat for the first time in 12 years after drought across the eastern states saw grain production fall 20% last year.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources confirmed this week it had issued a bulk import permit to allow wheat to be brought in from Canada to be processed for the domestic market.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Apple crop under threat after cold snap follows early spring

Warm weather caused apple trees to start budding earlier than normal, and the fruits are now in danger by the cold snap that followed.

Warm weather caused apple trees to start budding earlier than normal, and the fruits are now in danger by the cold snap that followed. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters)

Apple farmers in the East worry the late-season Arctic blast could take a big bite from their budding crops.

“It definitely was cold enough so that there could be some catastrophic damage to the majority of the apple crop,” said Jake Samascott, whose family grows about 100 acres of apples on their farm south of Albany.

The unseasonably cold air moved into Northeast and mid-Atlantic states this week shortly after a warm spell sped up bud growth on apple trees. Buds become more sensitive to cold as they mature, making the cold snap especially troubling in big apple-producing states such as New York. Farmers are starting to assess the damage this week with another round of plummeting temperatures looming.

Damage still unknown

“We have at least one more cold night by the end of the weekend, early next week, if forecasts hold, to get through,” said Ben Wenk of Three Springs Fruit Farm in Aspers, Pennsylvania, southwest of Harrisburg. “And of course there’s not a whole lot we can do about it.”

Farmers are already checking individual buds for damage but don’t expect to have an estimate of losses until next week at the earliest.

Samascott said his orchard could lose 90 per cent of its apple crop because of temperatures that dipped to 10 degrees and below. Three Springs could lose half its early varieties like Honeycrisp and Gala. Wenk also is worried about his peaches, blueberries and strawberries.

Some apple farmers try to mitigate damage by employing windmill-like machines to direct warmer air at the trees, but they are still left playing a waiting game.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Better water use can cut global food gap

Better water use can cut global food gap

CROP--Irrigation_system

An irrigation system on a pumpkin patch in a semi-arid area of New Mexico in southwestern US.
Image: Daniel Schwen via Wikimedia Commons

Scientists say that forecasts of a world food shortage need not prove as disastrous as previously thought if humans learn to use water more effectively.

LONDON, 16 February, 2016 – Although growing human numbers, climate change and other crises threaten the world‘s ability to feed itself, researchers believe that if we used water more sensibly that would go a long way towards closing the global food gap.

Politicians and experts have simply underestimated what better water use can do to save millions of people from starvation, they say.

For the first time, scientists have assessed the global potential for growing more food with the same amount of water. They found that production could rise by 40%, simply by optimising rain use and careful irrigation. That is half the increase the UN says is needed to eradicate world hunger by mid-century.

The lead author of the study, Jonas Jägermeyr, an Earth system analyst at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research(PIK), says the potential yields from good water management have not been taken fully into account.

Climate resilience

Already parched areas, he says, have the most potential for increases in yield, especially water-scarce regions in China, Australia, the western US, Mexico and South Africa.

“It turns out that crop water management is a largely under-rated approach to reducing undernourishment and increasing the climate resilience of smallholders,” he says.

In theory, the gains could be massive, but the authors acknowledge that getting local people to adopt best practice remains a challenge.

They have been careful to limit their estimates to existing croplands, and not to include additional water resources. But they have taken into account a number of very different water management options, from low-tech solutions for smallholders to the industrial scale.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Can a Tableful of Food be Produced Economically in an Urban Environment?

Aquaponics01

Can a Tableful of Food be Produced Economically in an Urban Environment?

The reality has always been that it takes land to grow crops…no matter the type of crop. People need certain nutrients (protein, carbohydrate, roughage, and others) to thrive and all come from crops that are presently grown on arable land. The problem is that as the population increases, the amount of land available for crop production decreases. But, more people also mean the need to produce more food. It is a circular problem and it requires a solution.

Since land is needed to grow crops, it has been difficult to produce what is needed in urban areas. According to United Nations estimates 66% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. These people will need a means of producing some of their own food because more arable land will be used for housing.

Aquaponics is among the possible solutions to this problem.

WHAT IS AQUAPONICS?

The term is the portmanteau of “aquaculture” and “hydroponics”. Fish snails and various types of crustaceans have been farmed and harvested for many years. A farmer builds a small pond, introduces the animals and induces growth with proper nutrition. The ponds are naturally aerated and waste is disposed of via runoff. Hydroponics is a means of using water as a growth medium for plants rather than soil. When the two are combined, the waste products of the fish become plant food (with a little help from naturally occurring bacteria) and the plants serve to help aerate and filter water that is recirculated to the fish.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EU Banned Pesticides to Help Bees, But Now Other Bugs Are Invading

EU Banned Pesticides to Help Bees, But Now Other Bugs Are Invading

The European Union has a bug problem.

After regulators in late 2013 banned pesticides called neonicotinoids, linked in some studies to the unintended deaths of bees, farmers across the continent applied older chemicals to which many pests had developed a resistance, allowing them to survive. Now, infestations may lead to a 15 percent drop in this year’s European harvest of rapeseed, the region’s primary source of vegetable oil used to make food ingredients and biodiesel, according to researcher Oil World.

“When we remove a tool from the box, that puts even more pressure on the tools we’ve got left,” said farmer Martin Jenkins, who has seen flea beetles for the first time in almost a decade on his 750 acres of rapeseed outside Cambridge, England. “More pesticides are being used, and even more ridiculous is there will be massively less rapeseed.”

At issue for the EU was protecting bees that farmers rely upon to pollinate more than 80 percent of Europe’s crops and wild plants, valued at 22 billion euros ($26 billion) annually. While research on how neonicotinoids affect beneficial insects hasn’t been conclusive, regulators said the risks were worth imposing a two-year ban that began in December 2013. The Canadian province of Ontario proposed similar restrictions last year, and new rules are under review in the U.S., the biggest oilseed producer.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

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