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What Farmers Say About Climate Change

What Farmers Say About Climate Change

This is probably the most honest assessment of the current state of farming and our future food supply.

What Farmers Say About Climate Change
Photo by Rob Mulder / Unsplash
People seem to misunderstand the connection between atmospheric CO2, climate predictability and industrialized agriculture. The number of times a “climate skeptic” has told me “plants love CO2”, like that fixes everything, is dumbfounding.

True: plants love CO2.

Also true: plants love warmth and water.

Also, also true: it’s not the CO2 (aka “plant food”) itself that’s the problem. It’s the resulting changes caused by rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels. Too much climate unpredictability, weather variability, heat, drought or water will destroy agriculture. That means shortages and famine.

Civilization is built off the back of agriculture. And agriculture requires a foundation of predictability and good soil. Without predictability, agriculture isn’t sustained and we once again become a species of hunters, foragers and nomads. While that worked 10,000+ years ago, the human population today is far too large and we would soon starve.

Climate change may push wild plants into areas in which they don’t currently flourish, but this has nothing to do with our ability to sustain an 8 billion population with industrialized agriculture. There is a reason why farming is concentrated in certain regions of the world: good climate and good soil.

The new areas in which plants may flourish aren’t necessarily ideal for growing fields of wheat, soy or corn. Even if they were ideal, it would take a significant amount of time to a) confidently identify these areas and b) build the necessary infrastructure.

If given a century or two, perhaps we could adapt to a changing environment. Unfortunately, the current pace of change risks multi-breadbasket failure in the near future.

r/MapPorn - World's Main Breadbasket Regions, from McKinsey & Company

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

Can Our Veggie Gardens Feed us in a Real Crisis?

Can Our Veggie Gardens Feed us in a Real Crisis?

Musings from someone who has tried and failed to grow all their own food

A haul from the Author’s urban farming operation in Portland, Sept. 15, 2007, set out for CSA members to pick up (Photo C.H.White)

This is one of my all-time most popular essays, originally written in July, 2019, in response to massive flooding in farmland in the US Midwest but reposted several time since then because there’s always some crisis underway that can negatively affect farming. This year’s news peg is the fact that March was the tenth month in a row that set a record for hottest on record.

Whenever there’s a crisis that might affect the food supply, people suggest to “plant a garden.” If only it were that simple.

I used to be a small-scale organic farmer so take it from me: totally feeding yourself from your own efforts is very, very challenging. Though some friends and I tried over multiple seasons, we never succeeded, or even came anywhere close.

First of all, consider what you eat. Yes, you. What do you eat at home? At work? When you go out? Okay, what percentage of that can be raised in the bioregion where you live? If you have trouble answering this question, don’t feel bad. I would guess that the proportion of the US population with practical agricultural knowledge is lower than in any other society in history.

Looking at the subset of your current diet that can be grown in your area, is it enough to live off of? Is it well-balanced and does it provide enough calories? If not, what will you add to fill it out? This is purely an exercise of course, but there’s the rough draft of the menu you’re going to survive on. How will that work? I mean logistically?

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

Over 140,000 Farms Lost in 5 Years

Between 2017 and 2022, the number of farms in the U.S. declined by 141,733 or 7%, according to USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture, released on Feb. 13. Acres operated by farm operations during the same timeframe declined by 20.1 million (2.2%), a loss equivalent to an area about the size of Maine. Only 1.88% of acres operated and 1% of farm operations were classified under a non-family corporate farm structure.

Conducted every five years, the Census of Agriculture collects data on land use and ownership, producer characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. USDA defines a farm as an operation that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the census year.

While the number of farm operations and acres operated declined, the value of agricultural production increased, rising from $389 billion in 2017 to $533 billion in 2022 (40% nominally and 17% adjusted for inflation). These updated numbers highlight the continuing trend of fewer operations farming fewer acres of land but producing more each year.

In addition to Ag Census data, USDA releases survey-based estimates on farm numbers once every year. Using this annual survey data dating back to 1950, the trend of fewer operations farming fewer acres becomes even more obvious. Since 1950, the number of farm operations has declined by 3.75 million (66%) and the number of acres farmed declined by 323 million (27%) – slightly less than twice the size of Texas. Technological advancements that have increased productivity, such as feed conversion ratios in livestock and yield per acre in crops, have allowed farmers and ranchers to produce more with less even as the U.S. population more than doubled, going from 159 million in 1950 to 340 million in 2023, and the global population more than tripled (2.5 billion to 8 billion) during the same period.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Globalists Will Use Carbon Controls To Stop You From Growing Your Own Food

Globalists Will Use Carbon Controls To Stop You From Growing Your Own Food

February 2, 2024 19 Comments

In early 2020 in the midst of the covid lockdowns, blue states run by leftist governors pursued mandates with extreme prejudice. In red states like Montana, after the first month or two most of us simply ignored the restrictions and went on with life as usual. It was clear that covid was not the threat federal authorities made it out to be. However, in states like Michigan the vise was squeezed tighter and tighter under the direction of shady leaders like Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer used covid as an opportunity to institute some bizarre limitations on the public, including a mandate barring larger stores from selling seeds and garden supplies to customers. “If you’re not buying food or medicine or other essential items, you should not be going to the store,” Whitmer said when announcing her order. The leftist governor was fine with purchases of lottery tickets and liquor, but not gardening tools and seeds.

She never gave a logical reason why she targeted garden supplies, but most people in the preparedness community understood very well what this was all about: This was a beta-test for wider restrictions on food independence. There was widespread rhetoric in the media throughout 2020 attacking anyone stockpiling necessities as “hoarders,” and now they were going after people planning ahead and trying to grow their own food. The establishment did NOT want people to store or produce a personal food supply.

Another prospect that was being openly discussed among globalists was the idea that lockdowns were “helpful” in ways beyond stopping the spread of covid (the lockdowns were actually useless in stopping the spread of covid). They suggested that the these measures could be effective in preventing global carbon emissions and saving the world from “climate change.” The idea of climate lockdowns began to spread.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

I Asked Gardeners How Climate Change Hits Them

I Asked Gardeners How Climate Change Hits Them

I connected with gardeners from across North America and Europe to understand how climate change is affecting their ability to grow our most valuable resource: food.

What does “climate change” actually mean at the grassroots level?

When most people hear the term they think of rising seas and hotter temperatures. Many are aware of potential collapse, but it all seems theoretical for now. The grocery stores remain stocked and we go about our daily lives.

While political leaders and scientists discuss broad mitigation strategies, the effects of climate change are already impacting those on the front lines of human survival.

Distant heat domes and flooding dominate the headlines, but food production is where it becomes real for all of us. Farmers and gardeners are the first to experience the early stages of the global crisis. We must pay attention to the signals food growers are sending.

I connected with gardeners from across North America and Europe to understand how climate change is affecting their ability to grow our most valuable resource: food.

The results were shocking.

Given the wide geographic scope of my audience I expected a range of feedback – some positive, some negative. What shocked me was the uniformity of responses around the world.

I expected some reporting bias in the responses because those experiencing negative changes would be more likely to respond. However, the survey was targeted at general gardeners (i.e. not at a collapse-aware or climate change population), so I anticipated a more even distribution of comments.

I’ve included a selection of the best verbatim comments below, but if you’d prefer a summary I’ve listed the common themes here:

  1. Extreme Weather Patterns: People are experiencing more extreme and unpredictable weather, with severe droughts, intense heat waves, early frosts, and heavy rains becoming more common…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Planning Your Survival Garden

Planning Your Survival Garden

A survival garden isn’t a doom’s day garden. It’s a garden built around a mix of permanent agriculture, or permaculture, and annual vegetable and fruit plants. It’s designed to help you avoid supply chain issues, and provide nutritious food for yourself, and your family. It is a garden of abundance.

There are many concerns about supply chain issues, especially after the floods, disasters, and challenges of the past few years. A survival garden is a garden designed to be low maintenance, and high yield. It is a garden built on sustainable principles, with a healthy mix of annual plants and perennial plants. While many survivalist gardeners focus on calories and food yield, calorie dense food can be bland without the addition of herbs for flavor and vegetables for variety and nutrition. Victory gardens are a type of survival garden, with an emphasis on vegetables, but not necessarily calories. (You can read more about victory gardens here). Calories offer energy that is necessary in a survival situation.

Your survival garden should focus on the plants and fruits you enjoy. Maybe the ones that are expensive to procure where you are. Maybe you want to focus on the “dirty dozen” to have the cleanest strawberries, carrots, onions, and garlic possible. This garden can be a vegetable garden, or it can be a permaculture garden, or it can have hybrid elements of both.

I started my garden as an annual vegetable garden with perennial fruit along with culinary and medicinal herbs, but I am slowly adding more and more perennials: Perennial vegetablesfruit trees, nuts, and berries. Every year I add a few more perennial fruit and nuts.

harvesting from the garden. All gardens can be a survival garden.…click on the above link to read the rest…

Researchers: We’ve Underestimated The Risk of Simultaneous Crop Failures Worldwide

Researchers: We’ve Underestimated The Risk of Simultaneous Crop Failures Worldwide

The risks of harvest failures in multiple global breadbaskets have been underestimated, according to a study Tuesday that researchers said should be a “wake up call” about the threat climate change poses to our food systems.

Food production is both a key source of planet-warming emissions and highly exposed to the effects of climate change, with climate and crop models used to figure out just what the impacts could be as the world warms.

In the new research published in Nature Communications, researchers in the United States and Germany looked at the likelihood that several major food producing regions could simultaneously suffer low yields.

These events can lead to price spikes, food insecurity and even civil unrest, said lead author Kai Kornhuber, a researcher at Columbia University and the German Council on Foreign Relations.

By “increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases, we are entering this uncharted water where we are struggling to really have an accurate idea of what type of extremes we’re going to face,” he told AFP.

“We show that these types of concurring events are really largely underestimated.”

The study looked at observational and climate model data between 1960 and 2014, and then at projections for 2045 to 2099.

Researchers first looked at the impact of the jet stream – the air currents that drive weather patterns in many of the world’s most important crop producing regions.

They found that a “strong meandering” of the jet stream, flowing in big wave shapes, has particularly significant impacts on key agricultural regions in North America, Eastern Europe and East Asia, with a reduction in harvests of up to seven percent.

The researchers also found that this had been linked to simultaneous crop failures in the past.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Wheat Spread Hits Record As Drought Plagues Midwest

Wheat Spread Hits Record As Drought Plagues Midwest

The spread between hard-red winter wheat and soft-red winter wheat has blown out to a record high as drought threatens crop yields across the Midwest and other major farming regions.

Hard-red winter wheat’s premium over soft-red winter wheat is $1.72 a bushel in Chicago on Tuesday morning, surpassing the 2011 record.

James Bolesworth, managing director at CRM AgriCommodities, told Bloomberg the widening spread is “a factor of the drought in the US Plains which is detrimentally impacting crop conditions.”

The latest report from the US Department of Agriculture found Kansas (top producer) had only 19% of the acreage in good or excellent condition. Agritel analysts pointed out droughts are hitting crops in other states:

“A deterioration of the crop ratings is also visible in Texas and Colorado.”

Simultaneously, drought conditions plague the Canadian Prairies. Farmers in the region are planting in some of the driest conditions in half a century. They need adequate moisture to plant wheat and canola crops, or this might lead to poor crop yields later in the growing season, which could impact global supplies.

“If there isn’t good moisture, those tiny plants are quite susceptible to adverse conditions,” said Bill Prybylski, a farmer and vice president at the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan. 

The possibility of lower US and Canadian wheat production because of persistent drought conditions could exacerbate global food supplies. Already, droughts in Argentina have reduced crop yields, and wartorn Ukraine has forced farmers to reduce plantings.

All of this means that global food inflation will likely remain elevated for the foreseeable future. How to hedge higher costs at the supermarket? Plant a garden.


Indigenous knowledge is key to sustainable food systems

Indigenous knowledge is key to sustainable food systems

Angelina Monday works on her plot of land, planted with beans, corn and other vegetables, in the Bidibidi Refugee Settlement.

Farmer Angelina Monday works on her plot of land in Uganda, where she grows beans and vegetables for her family. Credit: Mads Nissen/Politiken/Panos Pictures

I grew up in Campinas, a city in southeast Brazil. The apples there, cultivated from European varieties since the 1960s, tasted sweet. But, given the choice, I would always pick papayas grown in our garden. My father, who knew that growing a temperate fruit tree in a tropical country seldom worked, instead filled our garden with tropical ones, including two varieties of papaya. Meanwhile, drawing on knowledge from her Indigenous roots, my mother grew all sorts of herbs in pots around the house, which she used to treat ailments such as diarrhoea and indigestion.

Indigenous peoples and other local communities, who might have lived in a region for thousands or hundreds of years, respectively, have long acted as foragers, growers and shapers of nature1. In many parts of the world, the food production systems developed by such communities — from irrigated crops to agroforestry systems — have been the dominant food systems supporting regional economies, and feeding rural and urban areas alike2.

For the past three decades, various efforts involving academic and industrial partners have explored how biodiversity in low- and middle-income countries could be exploited commercially — bioprospected — for new pharmaceuticals and crop varieties, and how benefits could be shared equitably. Yet there are huge power imbalances between the wealthy countries and large corporations seeking the products, and the biodiversity-rich but economically and technologically deprived countries and communities providing them. In practice, the benefits rarely reach the people who are the knowledge holders and guardians of biodiversity and agrobiodiversity3.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Insects are vanishing worldwide – now it’s making it harder to grow food

Insects are vanishing worldwide – now it’s making it harder to grow food

Over the past 20 years a steady trickle of scientific papers has reported that there are fewer insects than there used to be. Both the combined weight (what scientists call biomass) and diversity of insect species have declined. Some studies were based on sightings by amateur entomologists, while others involved scientists counting the number of bugs splattered on car windshields. Some collected flying insects in traps annually for years and weighed them.

In the past six years, this trickle has become a flood, with more and more sophisticated studies confirming that although not all insect species are declining, many are in serious trouble. A 2020 compilation of 166 studies estimated that insect populations were on average declining globally at a rate of 0.9% per year. But the declines are uneven. Even within the same environments, populations of some insect species have waned, while others have remained stable and still some others increased. The reasons for these differences between insects are unknown, though evidently some are more resilient than others.

Until recently, much of the evidence has been drawn from protected areas in Europe and to a lesser extent North America. So what is the picture like elsewhere? A new study offers fresh data on the seasonal migrations of insects in east Asia. These insects, many of them pest species, fly north in spring every year to take advantage of the new growing season, and fly south in autumn to escape the cold.

A sky filled with monarch butterflies.
Insects can travel thousands of miles in seasonal migrations. Javarman/Shutterstock

A progressive fall in the enormous numbers of these migrants indicates that insect declines are indeed a global problem.

Millions of migrating insects

Between 2003 and 2020, scientists from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing caught almost 3 million migrating insects from high-altitude searchlight traps on Beihuang Island off the coast of northeast China….

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Farm Convoy Of Tractors Hit Paris Streets To Protest Pesticide Ban

Farm Convoy Of Tractors Hit Paris Streets To Protest Pesticide Ban

Adding to the days of strikes and mass street demonstrations about French President Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular plan to raise the retirement age, farmers have flooded the streets of Paris for an entirely different reason.

French farmers drove hundreds of tractors, if not more, into Paris on Wednesday to protest against a ban on pesticide use.

Ag website Agriland said the protest comes after a recent EU court ruling overturned a French rule that allowed sugar beet growers to use neonicotinoids, an insecticide. Farmers were livid by the EU courts because neonicotinoids are critical for sugar beet production. Agriland said at least 800 large farm tractors flooded Paris streets around Les Invalides.

“The protest has the backing of the country’s leading farm organization, the FNSEA, as well as organizations representing the sugar beet producing sector,” Agriland said.

Well before the EU court ruling, French sugar-beet yields were expected to slide by 5-7% for the next growing season, according to Bloomberg, citing Francois Thaury, an analyst at Paris-based adviser Agritel. Thaury said losses could not top 10%.

Meanwhile, in separate mass protests, hundreds of thousands of people nationwide took to the streets against Macron’s plans to raise the retirement age.

Protests come as Macron’s popularity has hit its lowest level. Spring is ahead, and that could mean additional protests as temperatures rise.

After Civilization’s Collapse: Dr. Shane Simonsen, Zero Input Agriculture

After Civilization’s Collapse: Dr. Shane Simonsen, Zero Input Agriculture

The Mainstream Media Admits That We Are Facing “The Worst Food Crisis In Modern History”

The Mainstream Media Admits That We Are Facing “The Worst Food Crisis In Modern History”

People on the other side of the planet are dropping dead from starvation right now, but most people don’t even realize that this is happening.  Unfortunately, most people just assume that everything is fine and dandy.  If you are one of those people that believe that everything is just wonderful, I would encourage you to pay close attention to the details that I am about to share with you.  Global hunger is rapidly spreading, and that is because global food supplies have been getting tighter and tighter.  If current trends continue, we could potentially be facing a nightmare scenario before this calendar year is over.

Pakistan is not one of the poorest nations in the world, but the lack of affordable food is starting to cause panic inside that country.  The following comes from Time Magazine

Last Saturday in Mirpur Khas, a city in Pakistan’s Sindh province, hundreds of people lined up for hours outside a park to buy subsidized wheat flour, offered for 65 rupees a kilogram instead of the current, inflated rate of about 140 to 160 rupees.

When a few trucks arrived, the crowd surged forward, leaving several injured. One man, Harsingh Kolhi, who was there to bring a five kg bag of flour home for his wife and children, was crushed and killed in the chaos.

We are seeing similar things happen all over the planet.

Just because you still may have enough food to eat doesn’t mean that everybody else is okay.

In fact, things have already gotten so bad that even CNN is admitting that we are facing “the worst food crisis in modern history”

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Agriculture In A Post-Oil Economy

Agriculture In A Post-Oil Economy

The decline in the world’s oil supply offers no sudden dramatic event that would appeal to the writer of “apocalyptic” science fiction: no mushroom clouds, no flying saucers, no giant meteorites. The future will be just like today, only tougher. Oil depletion is basically just a matter of overpopulation — too many people and not enough resources. The most serious consequence will be a lack of food. The problem of oil therefore leads, in an apparently mundane fashion, to the problem of farming.

To what extent could food be produced in a world without fossil fuels? In the year 2000, humanity consumed about 30 billion barrels of oil, but the supply is starting to run out; without oil and natural gas, there will be no fuel, no asphalt, no plastics, no chemical fertilizer. Most people in modern industrial civilization live on food that was bought from a local supermarket, but such food will not always be available. Agriculture in the future will be largely a “family affair”: without motorized vehicles, food will have to be produced not far from where it was consumed. But what crops should be grown? How much land would be needed? Where could people be supported by such methods of agriculture?


The most practical diet would be largely vegetarian, for several reasons. In the first place, vegetable production requires far less land than animal production. Even the pasture land for a cow is about one hectare, and more land is needed to produce hay, grain, and other foods for that animal. One could supply the same amount of useable protein from vegetable sources on a fraction of a hectare, as Frances Moore Lappé pointed out in 1971 in Diet for a Small Planet [12]. Secondly, vegetable production is less complicated…

…click on the above link to read the rest…

3 Ways to Grow Lettuce Even if You Don’t Have a Garden

3 Ways to Grow Lettuce Even if You Don’t Have a Garden

Fresh salad is a recommended mainstay of healthy eating. But, salad can get expensive. Lettuce seeds, however, are cheap. You can grow lettuce, throughout the year, even if you don’t have a garden with one of these three indoor techniques.

If you’re new to indoor gardening, lettuce or herbs are great plants to start with. Herbs, because a small amount is all you need for a meal and there are lots of potted herbs for sale. Lettuce, because you can start it from seed and it’ll keep coming back for many month’s of salad harvests. Even better, there are a ton of different lettuce varieties, in different colors, available too. So salads don’t have to be green and bland when you grow lettuce yourself.

In this article, we are covering three different, indoor growing methods to grow lettuce. Each technique has a discussion of the tools and materials needed, and it’s benefits and ease or difficulty of set-up. If these methods seem difficult, there are always microgreens, and sprouts, that can also help keep your salad bowl full throughout the year. Whether you grow lettuce, or sprouts, or microgreens, all can add tasty nutrition to salads, sandwiches, and all your meals throughout the year.

First off, make sure you have some lettuce seeds. A quick look at Richter’s herbs, reveals 12 different lettuce varieties from speckled to red, and from smooth leaved to oak-leaf varieties. Other seed companies, especially those specializing in heirloom varieties, will have similar ranges of lettuces. Even a 1$ package of green lettuce from the dollar store, or hardware store, can work to get started with.

…click on the above link to read the rest…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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