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An “All-Out Blizzard” That Is “Unheard Of For October” Is About To Hit Farms In The Midwest With Up To 2 Feet Of Snow

An “All-Out Blizzard” That Is “Unheard Of For October” Is About To Hit Farms In The Midwest With Up To 2 Feet Of Snow

Farmers in the middle of the country are about to get hit by what could potentially be the worst October blizzard in U.S. history.  According to USA Today“the massive size and intensity of this snowstorm is unheard of for October”.  In other words, we have never seen anything like this in the month of October ever before.  Such a storm would have been disastrous enough in a normal year, but this has definitely not been a normal year for Midwest farmers.  As I detailed extensively in previous articles, endless rain and horrific flooding made planting season a complete and utter nightmare for many Midwest farmers this year.  Millions of acres did not get planted at all, and planting was seriously delayed on tens of millions of other acres.  As a result, corn, soybeans and other crops are simply not ready to be harvested in many parts of the Midwest, and now an unprecedented winter storm is barreling directly toward our heartland.

This is a very, very serious situation.  Normally, most corn in the Dakotas and Minnesota is considered to be “mature” by now, but this year we are facing a completely different scenario.

According to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, only 22 percent of the corn in North Dakota is considered to be “mature” at this point…

Many farmers continue to wait on the sidelines to get into the fields. With freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and high winds set to hit the northern Plains this week, the corn in North Dakota is only 22% mature vs. a 75% five-year average, according to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress Report.

Also, South Dakota corn is rated 36% mature vs. an 80% five-year average. Minnesota farmers have a corn crop that is just 39% mature vs. an 83% five-year average.

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

Crops Devastated As More Ferocious Storms Pound The Midwest – “It’s Hard To Get Your Head Around Just How Bad It Is”

Crops Devastated As More Ferocious Storms Pound The Midwest – “It’s Hard To Get Your Head Around Just How Bad It Is”

It has gotten to the point where maybe we should just expect violent storms to hammer the Midwest every single day of the week.  Highly destructive storms ripped through the Midwest on Tuesday, it happened again on Wednesday, and the forecast calls for more powerful storms on Thursday.  This growing season has been a complete and utter nightmare for U.S. farmers, and each day it just gets even worse.  Millions of acres will not be planted at all this year, but an even bigger problem is that fact that crops are dramatically failing on tens of millions of acres that were actually planted in time.  Every major storm does even more damage, and that is why what we have witnessed so far this week has been so alarming.

For example, on Tuesday the middle of the country was absolutely pummeled by “more than 120 damaging storms”

More than 120 damaging storms were reported from Montana all the way to Florida on Tuesday, a barrage that included 70 mph winds from Texas to Illinois, golf ball-sized hail Nebraska and up to half a foot of rain in parts of southern Iowa.

Then on Wednesday a series of severe storms dumped enormous amounts of rain “from Washington state to Illinois”.

And of course we aren’t done yet.  According to AccuWeather, Thursday will be another very rough day for the heartland…

More severe weather is likely on Thursday over parts of the North-Central states.

The storms may take a more west-to-east track across the northern Plains to the Great Lakes region during Thursday afternoon and night.

 …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…

Total Catastrophe For U.S. Corn Production: Only 30% Of U.S. Corn Fields Have Been Planted – 5 Year Average Is 66%

Total Catastrophe For U.S. Corn Production: Only 30% Of U.S. Corn Fields Have Been Planted – 5 Year Average Is 66%

2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry.  Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground.  I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it.  But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate.  And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly.  In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield.  Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year.  It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.

According to the Department of Agriculture, over the past five years an average of 66 percent of all corn fields were already planted by now…

U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.

Soybean farmers have more time to recover, but they are facing a unique problem of their own which we will talk about later in the article.

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

Tariffs, Barriers and Subsidies


René Magritte Empire of light 1950

There’s not a shade of a doubt that I’m not an expert on tariffs, trade barriers and subsidies, and I’d be the last to suggest any such thing. But I can read. Still, do correct me if I’m wrong anywhere. The whole field is so complicated -no doubt often on purpose- that there’s always the possibility that there are side issues involved for which one would need to actually be an expert.

But still. Now that EU chief Jean-Claude -‘When it becomes serious, you have to lie’- Juncker is due to arrive at the White House soon, I looked at some of the items involved. Last night Trump said that all tariffs, barriers and subsidies should be dropped between the EU and US. Why the TTiP doesn’t come anywhere close to that is anyone’s guess. Too complicated for the boys and girls?

In at least some major fields, Trump does seem to have a point or two. The US has a 2.5% tariff on European cars, while the EU slaps a 10% tariff on American cars. That’s 4x as much, or a 300% difference. Whoever said yes to that? Sure, the US has a 25% tariff on EU pickups, but nobody in Europe drives pickups, hence they don’t produce them, so that’s not consequential.

So what had Trump done? He’s threatened a 20% tariff on Beemers and Mercs, and added -for entertainment value only- that he doesn’t want to see any of them in on Fifth Avenue anymore. Cue EU carmakers warning about the cost to American customers.

That’s all fine and well, but those tariffs on personal cars are still 300% higher. So push your European government to make them equal. Easy as -American- pie. How about zero? I can see where Trump’s coming from. Issuing warnings to the American public about BMW’s getting more expensive doesn’t look entirely on the up and up.

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

 

What Do Farmers Want?

The obvious response to the title of this post is: I don’t know; why don’t you ask one? Well, Richard Wuthnow and his researches did, at great length. The result is In The Blood: Understanding America’s Farm Families, the last (it was published in 2015) of a list of books which Wuthnow’s extended sociological study of America’s small, rural, mostly agricultural, mostly Midwestern places, and the people who live there, has produced. Earlier this year, while thinking about Wuthnow’s latest book, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, I ended up exploring this series by Wuthnow to learn what it can tell us about how those of us who are part of, or next door to, or have memories of, or are in other ways dependent upon, the productive world of those who work the land think about the changing world around them. In The Blood didn’t change my mind about that analysis, but it did deepen it quite a bit.

The clearest point which comes through Wuthnow’s thoughtful engagement with the dozens of farmers he and his assistants interviewed, and with the reams of data about rural populations, farm economics, and more that they assessed, is simply this: most American farmers, most of the time, are not agrarians. This is hardly news to anyone who takes conversations about localism and sustainability at all seriously–but still, for people like me, for whom the appeal of agrarian thinking is strong, such reminders are necessary. When Rod Dreher quotes, as he did just recently, Wendell Berry’s “The Work of Local Culture,” with its determined placing of hope in the few surviving rural places in America–because “rural people…see all around them, every day, the marks and scars of an exploitive national economy….

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

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Texan Farmers

Hurricane Harvey’s Impact on Texan Farmers

Hurricane Harvey has threatened Texas' agricultural economy and will likely have devastating effects on farmers and the food supply.

French farmers protest at prices driven down by Russia sanctions

French farmers protest at prices driven down by Russia sanctions

 

© @RTenfrancais / periscope.tv
A protest by French farmers has taken place in Paris. Large crowds gathered to decry the low prices of agricultural produce. Prices are being driven down by the sanctions exchange with Russia, which has caused domestic produce to flood the French market.

The protest started near the Gare de Lyon railway station, but then moved to the Porte de Vincennes – one of the city gates in Paris.

There were police and fire brigades on the scene, ready to intervene, but it didn’t run to that.


EN DIRECT sur  : Action des agriculteurs à Paris, suitedu direct !! https://www.periscope.tv/w/aZNDRjFWR2p2T0x5a1JFT2t8MU1ueG5vamJNRFhLT3gjD3HeB5lqkWVn95Ja8Xa1MSR-It4y7Xbfynra4cXq 

Photo published for RT France on Periscope: "Action des agriculteurs à Paris, suite du direct !!"

RT France on Periscope: “Action des agriculteurs à Paris, suite du direct !!”

RT France (@RTenfrancais) on Periscope. Les actualités de RT en français

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Hundreds of egg crates were fed into a wood cutter, which sprayed them towards a building. Over 100 demonstrators at the spot were waving flags.

Protesters built make-shift barricades out of straw and covered the street with shreds of newspaper that they promised to set on fire.

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

If There Are No New Farmers, Who Will Grow Our Food?

If There Are No New Farmers, Who Will Grow Our Food?

Programs across the country are trying to make it easier for new farmers to get started and put down roots. Here’s why: There’s only one farmer under 35 for ever six over 65. By 2030, one-quarter of America’s current farmers will retire.
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Against a backdrop of lush green mountains and swaying papaya trees, La‘amea Lunn readies his crop of carrots, kale, and eggplants for the weekly farmers market. He carefully tends his one-third acre on Oahu, Hawai‘i, preparing produce for a market stall he shares with friends—young farmers like himself, a few of whom he met when they worked neighboring plots on this land owned by the University of Hawai‘i.

At 32, Lunn has an office job with a career in restaurant kitchens behind him. He hopes to own a farm of his own, to be part of the local food movement, and to help transform the industrial food system. But taking that on now is a substantial investment, so Lunn is starting out here, in an agricultural incubator program called GoFarm Hawai‘i, where he can share resources, learn from experts, and, perhaps most importantly, join a community.

GoFarm Hawai‘i and other programs, from California to Maine, aim to soften the start for young growers. By providing access to some or all of the farming fundamentals—capital, acreage, and training—these projects try not only to help the individual farmer, but also to sustain and grow a new generation that will allow the local food movement to flourish.

“Doing it with other people helps you along in the hard times,” Lunn said. “I went into this not just for myself, but to network to help other farmers to make it easier to farm. It was a driving force.”

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

California Water Wars Escalate: State Changes Law, Orders Farmers To Stop Pumping

California Water Wars Escalate: State Changes Law, Orders Farmers To Stop Pumping

“In the water world, the pre-1914 rights were considered to be gold,” exclaimed one water attorney, but as AP reports, it appears that ‘gold’ is being tested as California water regulators flexed their muscles by ordering a group of farmers to stop pumping from a branch of the San Joaquin River amid an escalating battle over how much power the state has to protect waterways that are drying up in the drought. As usual, governments do what they want with one almond farmer raging “I’ve made investments as a farmer based on the rule of law…Now, somebody’s changing the law that we depend on.” This is not abiout toi get any better as NBCNews reports, this drought is of historic proportions – the worst in over 100 years.

The current drought has averaged a reading of -3.67 over the last three years, nearly twice as bad as the second-driest stretch since 1900, which occurred in 1959.

 

Other studies using PDSI data drawn from tree-ring observations reaching even further back in time reveal similar findings. One such study from University of Minnesota and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute researchers showed the current drought is California’s worst in at least 1,200 years.

And as AP reports, regulatords are changing the laws to address the problems…

The State Water Resources Control Board issued the cease and desist order Thursday against an irrigation district in California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley that it said had failed to obey a previous warning to stop pumping. Hefty fines could follow.

The action against the West Side Irrigation District in Tracy could be the first of many as farmers, cities and corporations dig in to protect water rights that were secured long before people began flooding the West and have remained all but immune from mandatory curtailments.

 

 

 

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

 

 

Polish Farmers Blockade Motorways Across Country

Polish Farmers Blockade Motorways Across Country

This week thousands of Polish family farmers from the Solidarity trade union turned out to protest in over 50 locations across the country. Over 150 tractors have been blockading the A2 motorway into Warsaw since the 3rd February and hundreds more have closed roads and are picketing governmental offices in other regions. The farmers are vowing to continue the struggle until the government agrees to enter talks with the union and commit to addressing what they see as a crisis in Polish agriculture.

These actions represent a dramatic escalation of protests that have been simmering across the country over the last year. Edward Kosmal, chairman of the farmers protest committee for West-Pomeranian Region said:

We are ready for dialogue. We look forward to meeting with you Prime Minister and beginning a comprehensive government commitment to solving the problems of Polish agriculture. If you do not enter into a dialogue with the Union, we would be forced to tighten our forms of protest.

The four key demands of the farmers are:

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

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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