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"and there shall be famines..."

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August 08, 2018, 02:38:10 am suzytr says: Hello, any good churches in the Sacto, CA area, also looking in Reno NV, thanks in advance and God Bless you Smiley
January 29, 2018, 01:21:57 am Christian40 says: It will be interesting to see what happens this year Israel being 70 years as a modern nation may 14 2018
October 17, 2017, 01:25:20 am Christian40 says: It is good to type Mark is here again!  Smiley
October 16, 2017, 03:28:18 am Christian40 says: anyone else thinking that time is accelerating now? it seems im doing days in shorter time now is time being affected in some way?
September 24, 2017, 10:45:16 pm Psalm 51:17 says: The specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook. It states: “The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. “During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”
September 20, 2017, 04:32:32 am Christian40 says: "The most popular Hepatitis B vaccine is nothing short of a witch’s brew including aluminum, formaldehyde, yeast, amino acids, and soy. Aluminum is a known neurotoxin that destroys cellular metabolism and function. Hundreds of studies link to the ravaging effects of aluminum. The other proteins and formaldehyde serve to activate the immune system and open up the blood-brain barrier. This is NOT a good thing."
http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-08-11-new-fda-approved-hepatitis-b-vaccine-found-to-increase-heart-attack-risk-by-700.html
September 19, 2017, 03:59:21 am Christian40 says: bbc international did a video about there street preaching they are good witnesses
September 14, 2017, 08:06:04 am Psalm 51:17 says: bro Mark Hunter on YT has some good, edifying stuff too.
September 14, 2017, 04:31:26 am Christian40 says: i have thought that i'm reaping from past sins then my life has been impacted in ways from having non believers in my ancestry.
September 11, 2017, 06:59:33 am Psalm 51:17 says: The law of reaping and sowing. It's amazing how God's mercy and longsuffering has hovered over America so long. (ie, the infrastructure is very bad here b/c for many years, they were grossly underspent on. 1st Tim 6:10, the god of materialism has its roots firmly in the West) And remember once upon a time ago when shacking up b/w straight couples drew shock awe?

Exodus 20:5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
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Author Topic: "and there shall be famines..."  (Read 2123 times)
akfools
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« on: October 15, 2011, 09:00:00 pm »

Stock Up on Peanut Butter Now Before Prices Get Ridiculous

The time to buy peanut butter is now, friends. The Wall Street Journal reports that prices for Jif, Peter Pan, and other peanut butter jars will be going up as much as 40% starting in a couple of weeks.

In just one year, the wholesale price of peanuts has skyrocketed from $450 a ton to $1,150 a ton, thanks to Mother Nature and human folly. As a result:

    Wholesale prices for big-selling Jif are going up 30% starting in November, while Peter Pan will raise prices as much as 24% in a couple weeks...Skippy [prices] are 30% to 35% higher than a year ago. Kraft Foods Inc., which launched Planters peanut butter in June, is raising prices 40% on Oct. 31


http://lifehacker.com/5848634/stock-up-on-peanut-butter-now-before-prices-get-ridiculous
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 06:35:05 pm by BornAgain2 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2011, 07:17:44 am »

The price of food is already outrageous.  Shocked every week the stuff keeps going up.
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2012, 05:58:46 pm »

Orange juice prices hit record

The price of orange juice on the global markets has hit a record high, after surging over the past few days.

Traders say the main reasons are safety concerns about juice from Brazil, the world's largest producer of orange juice, and cold weather in Florida.

The US Food and Drug Administration said carbendazim, a fungicide, has been found in shipments from Brazil.

Orange juice has risen by about 25% since the beginning of the year, to $2.12 a pound.

Carbendazim is banned in the US, but is used legally in Brazil to treat black spot, a type of mould that grows on trees.

read more
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16500773
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 11:01:07 pm »

http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/south-american-drought-spreads-to-brazil/

South American drought spreads to Brazil

March 23, 2012 – BRAZIL - Drought has spread from Argentina and Paraguay to Brazil and is hitting soy yields at a time of concerns that regional economic growth may suffer as pressures mount on commodity prices. Argentine yields of soy were affected by drought and labor disputes in that country are making farmers and grain traders jittery. Drought caused widespread economic dislocation in Paraguay, which was also hit by cattle disease. Analysts said drought-related developments in Brazil had led to lower yield estimates, slicing about 2.8 million tons off an original estimate of 67.1 million tons for this year’s harvest. The revised estimates are subject to further review, said the analysts. Soy oil has gained importance in the energy market as a feedstock for the booming international bio-fuels sector. Soy produced by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay accounts for about half the world’s soy exports. Although current worries have caused spikes in prices and buoyed futures trade in Chicago, Latin America and elsewhere, underlying worries over the eurozone crisis and an economic slowdown in China continue to cloud the outlook. Some analysts predicted a 10 million ton shortfall in Brazil’s soy crop when compared with last year. Troy and Jericho was both thought to be fabled cities that never existed until relatively recently when they were uncovered under an unprecedented amount of sediment which archeologists never conceived would be so thick. A catastrophe can in one second lose an entire city to time by burying it in ash. In sedimentary geology, you’re study time based on strata and the presumed rate of coverage. –Terra Daily
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2012, 06:39:00 pm »

Slumping U.S. Crop Reserves Raising Food Costs in Election Year
9 April 2012, by Jeff Wilson (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-08/slumping-u-s-crop-reserves-raising-food-costs-in-election-year.html

Excerpt:

U.S. corn stockpiles are poised to be the smallest in 16 years by August and soybean reserves will be lower than the government expected, potentially accelerating food-price inflation in an election year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture may say tomorrow that corn inventories on Aug. 31 will be 37% lower than a year earlier at 715 million bushels (18.2 million metric tons), the average of 32 analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show.

That compares with a projection of 801 million bushels last month. Soybean stockpiles will be 242 million bushels, down from a March prediction of 275 million, the survey showed.

The government is already predicting food inflation of 2.5% to 3.5% in 2012.

While that’s down from 3.7% in 2011, it would be higher than gains in as many as five of the past eight years.

Drivers are contending with gasoline prices that have jumped 20% this year, American Automobile Association data show.

Global food costs rose for the third straight month in March, the United Nations said April 5.

“Consumers will see additional price gains this year,” said Corinne Alexander, an agricultural economist at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana.

“There will be no relief for consumers until later this year if high prices lead to large world crops.”

Corn prices averaged $6.405 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade in the first quarter, 2.8% more than in the previous three months and the fifth-highest in data going back more than a half century.

Soybeans averaged $12.752 a bushel, 8.1% more than in the fourth quarter.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agriculture Index of eight commodities rose 1.8% this year.
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2012, 07:11:48 pm »

Higher Demand For Corn Equals Higher Stock Prices For Monsanto

There's something special about seeds. They are so tiny and look like nothing, but when you plant, water, and cultivate them, they transform into beautiful flowers and bountiful fruits and vegetables. Jesus taught that we only need faith the size of a mustard seed to move a mountain from here to there. The major global seed producer, Monsanto (MON), stands to benefit from increased agricultural demand. This demand is the seed that will produce higher earnings and stock prices for the company. Monsanto just revised its earnings per share for 2012 from previous estimates of $3.34 - $3.44 to more optimistic estimates of $3.49 - $3.54. These positive earnings revisions typically lead to positive earnings reports when the quarterly figures are publicized. Monsanto has exceeded its earnings estimates in its last five quarters and it looks like it will accomplish this again for the next quarter.

http://seekingalpha.com/article/482421-higher-demand-for-corn-equals-higher-stock-prices-for-monsanto
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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2012, 09:25:40 pm »

4/5/12

Reuters) - About 4 million hectares of crops are suffering from a severe drought in China that has hit 13 provinces including the major farming province of Sichuan in southwest China, state news agency Xinhua said.

The drought has left 7.8 million people and 4.6 million livestock without adequate drinking water in provinces including Yunnan, Hebei, Shanxi and Gansu as of Thursday, Xinhua said.

The dry spell has dried reservoirs and threatens spring planting, the agency said, citing the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The province of Yunnan in southwest China, which borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam, is so far the worst hit, Xinhua said, without giving details.

China, which has just 6 percent of the world's fresh water resources but a fifth of its population, is frequently gripped by drought.

Last year parts of the country suffered their worst drought in 50 years, officials said, with rainfall 40 to 60 percent less than normal, damaging crops and cutting power from hydroelectric dams.

A drought in the top sugar-producing province of Guangxi last year also led to a surge in imports as China tried to ease tight sugar supply.

(Reporting by Koh Gui Qing, editing by Jane Baird)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/us-china-drought-idUSBRE8340QE20120405
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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 03:58:26 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/drought-england-could-last-beyond-christmas-agency-231148887.html

Drought in England could last beyond Christmas - agency

4/15/12

LONDON (Reuters) - A drought affecting parts of England could last until after Christmas, Britain's environment agency warned on Monday, as rain over the spring and summer is unlikely to replenish low water levels.
 
In a country more usually associated with damp and drizzle, drought has been declared in seventeen counties in England's southeast and central regions, after two dry winters left rivers and ground waters depleted.
 
Although public water supplies in these areas are unlikely to be affected, the lack of rain is taking its toll on the environment and farmers, causing problems for wildlife, wetlands and crop production, the agency said in a statement.
 
"A longer term drought, lasting until Christmas and perhaps beyond, now looks more likely and we are working with businesses, farmers and water companies to plan ahead to meet the challenges of a continued drought," said Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency.

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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 09:21:27 pm »

http://agalert.com/story/?id=4098

4/18/12

A series of freak April storms hammered the San Joaquin Valley last week, damaging vulnerable crops with a one-two-three punch of hail, lightning and tornados that caused millions of dollars of crop losses.

It will be several weeks before an accurate tabulation of losses can be made, but for some growers it amounted to 100 percent of this year's production. A number of crops suffered damage from the unrelenting power of hailstones measuring 1.5 inches in diameter or larger.

Nature's fury came in the form of "supercells"—large thunderstorms that moved slowly across the valley from Kings County, through parts of Tulare County, up to Merced County and all the way eastward to Mariposa County.

The most destructive storm brought torrents of hail across a six-to-eight mile-wide swath of farmland that extended some 30 miles, accompanied by thunderstorms and numerous lightning strikes.

The epicenter of the more significant of two supercells last Wednesday was in Tulare County near Traver. Grower Ed Needham, who was caught driving near Traver when the storm struck, described it as "the sound of someone hitting my truck with a hammer."

Needham said he was in his truck with two other farmers and had pulled over to watch a huge storm cell to the south when the other cell struck from the north.

"It started out small and was no big deal and then all of a sudden the side-view mirrors on my truck shattered and the road started getting covered with huge hailstones. I looked at the wind and saw that it was going south, so I took off and went to the south and got out of it," he said.

Steve Johnson, a storm chaser with Atmospheric Group International, tracked the storms closely and estimated that the damage to agriculture could reach $25 million or more just from the two supercells that hit last Wednesday afternoon.

"While other thunderstorms were moving at about 25 miles per hour, these two slugs were moving at about 7 or 8 miles an hour, so they just trudged along producing very large hail and a high quantity of lightning," he said. "I estimate the damage at anywhere from 80 percent to 100 percent in fields and orchards where the hail struck. The fruit and nut trees were stripped bare. The trees look like they are in midwinter and haven't even budded yet."

Johnson also reported that a third supercell formed over farmland west of Lemoore, producing a tornado, and another one popped up near Huron, causing considerable crop damage to Westside lettuce and tomato fields.

The following day, a supercell formed in Merced County near Dos Palos and moved northeast between Atwater and Merced, once again accompanied by huge hailstones.

"The hailstones were larger than those on the previous day. There was 1 3/4-inch hail that was recorded near Castle Air Force Base, causing a lot of crop damage as well as other damage before moving up into Mariposa County," Johnson said.

John Diepersloot, one of the owners of Kingsburg Orchards, which grows peaches, plums, nectarines and apricots, said the storms wiped out some orchards while leaving adjacent ones unscathed. He said several of his orchards were struck and that while the visible damage is obvious, it will be several days before any accurate assessment can be made.

"Where the hail hit, it is a complete, 100 percent loss. It was hitting in cells, so one area was a complete disaster and another area got missed," he said. "Some of the fields look like they got beat up pretty bad. Most of the apricots, cherries, pluots and plums got scratched up pretty bad or even knocked off the trees."

Diepersloot also noted damage to other crops, particularly grapes and newly transplanted processing tomatoes.

"The tomatoes on certain blocks were stripped down. The transplants had leaves ripped off. The grapes had everything from tender, new shoots to the bark itself torn off. A lot of guys are planting their corn, but it isn't up yet, so that is still in the ground," he said.

John Thiesen, general manager of Giumarra Brothers Fruit Co. of Reedley, said he is still trying to assess the losses, and that enough fruit to fill from 5 million to 12 million boxes may have been lost.

"That is a pretty big span, so no one really knows for sure. But we do know there is very significant damage," he said.

Thiesen said the magnitude of last week's hailstorms was stunning.

"One doesn't see this kind of devastation very often. I know for us here, we were fortunate to escape, but the emotions are such that we feel just awful for all our grower friends who were affected. It is heartbreaking," he said.

Michael Miya, who farms walnuts, pistachios and field crops such as wheat, corn and onions for seed north of Hanford, said this was the worst hailstorm he has ever witnessed.

"We inspected the damage to our walnuts and it chopped a lot of the young leaflets. It covered the ground in green where the hail went through. We are concerned with the nuts that are already set on the trees," he said. "Some of my neighbors with almonds say they lost about a third of their crop, some less and some more, depending on where they were located. One of my neighbors with cherries said he has probably lost 80 percent of his crop."

Johnson, a severe-weather specialist who provides private weather forecasting for farming operations, utility companies and irrigation districts in the San Joaquin Valley, said it has been at least 20 years since something this severe struck the region.

"I feel really bad for the farmers who have been annihilated, because they work very hard," he said.
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 06:38:45 am »

aint seen nothing yet...
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2012, 11:25:43 am »

http://www.seeddaily.com/reports/North_Koreans_in_rice_belt_starve_to_death_report_999.html

North Koreans in rice belt starve to death: report

5/21/12

Food shortages have worsened in North Korea, even in the southwestern rice belt where some residents have starved to death, a Seoul-based online newspaper said Monday.

"Because of worsening food shortages this year there were reports of people starving to death even in South and North Hwanghae provinces," a Daily NK reporter told AFP, referring to the country's agricultural heartland.

Six people -- children or the elderly -- died in just one village in Shingye county after the authorities released an emergency supply of only one or two kilograms (2.2-4.4 pounds) of corn to each household, the paper said.

It quoted another source as saying that about 10 people had died of starvation on each collective farm in and around the coastal city of Haeju by April, following shortages in late winter.

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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 10:25:44 am »

5/28/12

NAMPHO, North Korea (AP) — North Korea is reporting a serious drought that could worsen already critical food shortages, but help is unlikely to come from the United States and South Korea following Pyongyang's widely criticized rocket launch.

North Korea has had little rain since April 27, with the country's western coastal areas particularly hard hit, according to a government weather agency in Pyongyang. The dry spell threatened to damage crops, officials said, as the country enters a critical planting season and as food supplies from the last harvest dwindle.

In at least one area of South Phyongan Province where journalists from The Associated Press were allowed to visit, the sun-baked fields appeared parched and cracked, and farmers complained of extreme drought conditions. Deeply tanned men, and women in sun bonnets, worked over cabbages and corn seedlings. Farmers cupped individual seedlings as they poured water from blue buckets onto the parched red soil.

"I've been working at the farm for more than 30 years, but I have never experienced this kind of severe drought," An Song Min, a farmer at the Tokhae Cooperative Farm in the Nampho area, told the AP.

more: http://news.yahoo.com/nkorean-farmers-cite-grave-drought-aid-unlikely-104947283.html
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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2012, 10:42:12 pm »

http://spyghana.com/world-news/inside-africa/un-food-agency-warns-of-danger-to-croplands-in-mali-and-niger-from-locust-swarms/

6/5/12

The United Nations food agency warned today that croplands in Niger and Mali are at imminent risk from Desert Locust swarms that are moving southward from Algeria and Libya.

?How many locusts there are and how far they move will depend on two major factors ? the effectiveness of current control efforts in Algeria and Libya and upcoming rainfall in the Sahel of West Africa,? a Senior Locust Forecasting Officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said Keith Cressman, said in a news release.
 
Groups of locusts have recently been found in northern Niger, arriving from infestations further north.
 
According to FAO, the Desert Locust swarms can be dense and highly mobile ? varying from less than one square kilometre to several hundred square kilometres, with at least 40 million and sometimes as many as 80 million locust adults in each square kilometre of swarm, and able to travel about five to 130 kilometres or more in a day.
 
A Desert Locust adult can consume roughly its own weight in fresh food per day, equivalent to about two grams every day. A very small part of an average swarm ? or about one tonne of locusts ? eats the same amount of food in one day as about 10 elephants or 25 camels or 2,500 people.
 
FAO says locust-control efforts in the region are being hindered by continued insecurity along both sides of the Algerian-Libyan border. Political insecurity and conflict in Mali could also hamper monitoring and control efforts if the locusts reach that country.
 
Locust infestations were first reported in southwest Libya near Ghat in January 2012 and in south-east Algeria. In late March, FAO warned that swarms could arrive in Niger and Mali by June. Continued rains and the resulting growth of vegetation led to the formation of swarms by mid-May.
 
FAO notes that both Algeria and Libya have been working hard to treat infested areas, covering a total of 40,000 hectares in Algeria and 21,000 hectares in Libya as of the end of May.
 
“In a normal year, Algeria and Libya would have been able to control most of the local swarms and prevent their movement towards the south, but insecurity along both sides of the Algerian-Libyan border is getting in the way of full access by local teams and by FAO experts who need to assess the situation,? Mr. Cressman said. ?Libya?s capacity to carry out control efforts has also been affected in the past year.?
 
Niger last faced Desert Locust swarms during the 2003-05 plague that affected farmers in two dozen countries.
 
The FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Western Region has provided $300,000 in funding to tackle locust infestations in Libya, and FAO has added an additional $400,000 to address the problem.
 
One of FAO?s mandates is to provide information on the general locust situation to all interested countries and to give timely warnings and forecasts to those countries in danger of invasion.
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 09:07:47 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/dry-skies-threaten-u-corn-crop-heat-wave-053118215.html?_esi=1

7/9/12

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Sizzling temperatures abated in the Midwest Corn Belt over the weekend, but light, scattered rains this week were expected to miss the areas that need it most, agricultural forecasters said on Monday.

Midday weather updates indicated little to no change for this week's forecast, with milder temperatures blanketing the Corn Belt, but rains will be limited.

"We got a break in the temperatures over the weekend but no rain of significance is in sight for next seven days," said Jim Keeney, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service the US central region based in Kansas City, Missouri.

High temperatures cooled into the 80s Fahrenheit over the weekend, and were forecast to remain there this week, following record-setting readings last week that topped 100 degrees, scorching corn and soybeans.

In the top U.S. crop state of Iowa, the southern town of Rathbun Dam notched an all-time of 105 Fahrenheit this weekend.

The extreme heat and drought conditions are hitting the core of the U.S. Midwest just as the region's big corn crop pollinates, the key yield-determining growth phase for corn. Drought conditions intensified the past week across the central United States, causing irrevocable damage to crops in Missouri, Indiana and even southern Illinois, where farmers are cutting stunted corn for silage, a low grade feed for cattle.

U.S. crop condition ratings for corn and soybeans fell last week, and grain traders expected the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly report later Monday to show further deterioration.

Crops will need rain to have much chance of rebounding, and forecasts looked mostly dry for the next 10 days from the central U.S. Plains across Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.

"Considering the forecast over the next couple of weeks, I think those areas are going to become bigger issues, especially central and eastern Iowa," said Kyle Tapley, an agricultural meteorologist with MDA EarthSat Weather/CropCAST.

"The areas that are too far gone across the southeastern Midwest will get some rains," he added. "But where they could get some improvement, across the central and western Midwest, it doesn't look they are going to get much rain."

Computerized weather forecasting models looked wetter.

"There is some model disagreement, with the American model showing a wetter solution across the central and western Midwest. But we're not buying into that at this point," Tapley said.

Rains over the weekend brought much-needed relief to parts of the Midwest. Portions of southern Missouri received as much as 1.5 inches of rain, and showers brought up to an inch to northern Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

Lesser amounts, generally 0.5 inch or less, fell in southern Illinois and southern Indiana.

"The crop remains under a lot of stress and the rainfall that came yesterday was not widespread," said Emerson Nafziger, a University of Illinois agronomist, referring to corn in Illinois, the second-largest crop state behind Iowa.

"The temperature hasn't been as hard on the crop as the lack of the water. That is going to continue this week," Nafziger added.

Further south rains were forecast to move through the Mississippi River Delta on Monday and later this week, along with parts of Missouri, southern Illinois and the Ohio River Valley.

"As we head toward Friday, rain works its way farther north into far southeastern Indiana and southern Ohio. But amounts will be fairly light," Tapley said.

John Dee of Global Weather Monitoring, a weather advisory closely tracked by grain traders, is forecasting hit-and-miss showers this week -- up to one-third of an inch for a third of the belt. There was a better chance of showers next week for more of the Midwest, he said, but amounts will remain light.

"Nobody is in good shape. Minnesota and Iowa even are stressing from a lack of moisture," Dee said.
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2012, 03:49:56 pm »

Look for higher prices this fall.  Roll Eyes

Now where did I put my grist mill?
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« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 10:38:04 am »

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48146684
Corn Prices Surge to $7.40 Per Bushel

A scorching drought across the Midwest will slash corn yields by much more than most analysts had expected, the government said in a report that reignited a record rally in grain prices.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the crop will average just 146.0 bushels an acre, down 20 bushels from its June estimate.

As a result, the agency reduced its forecast for ending stocks by 37 percent from last month, partly offset by lower exports and less ethanol usage.

The surprisingly deep cut to the yield outlook shocked traders, who had expected the USDA to take a more conservative approach to adjusting its outlook. The reduction in ending stocks was deeper than the forecast for a 32 percent cut.

Corn on the Chicago Board of Trade soared after the release of the report, with the December contract surging 23 cents to $7.40-1/2 per bushel, nearly touching the contract high reached two days ago. Prices have risen 34 percent in the past four weeks.
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« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 11:20:38 am »

Global food-price-rise risk up: Australia bank
11 July 2012, by Ray Brindal - Canberra (MarketWatch)
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/global-food-price-rise-risk-up-australia-bank-2012-07-11

A sharp rise in the price of corn, soybeans and wheat has once again raised the specter of global food price inflation, analysts at Commonwealth Bank of Australia warned Wednesday.

Prices for grains and oilseeds, the staple foodstuffs for human and livestock populations worldwide, spiked higher in June and have risen further in July, they said, but rice isn't caught up in the current price escalation.

Corn prices jumped 41% in June and early July, wheat 33% and soybeans by 26%, according to a note issued by CBA chief economist Michael Blythe and agri-commodities strategist Luke Mathews.

With any such commodity price spike, this episode reflects weather-induced supply issues, with the growing risks to U.S. crop production of particular concern, they said.

Most of the growth in demand for these crops is coming from China and other emerging and developing economies and these countries would bear the brunt of any sustained lift in the prices of staples, they said.

As a result, global trade flows would be affected by the possible scarcity of corn and soybeans for export in exporting nations, they said.

Among industries likely to be affected, livestock producers would experience input cost pressures, food and beverage manufacturers would face margin compression and the biofuels sector could be squeezed between higher input costs and falling oil prices, they said.

Although Australia exports two-thirds of its farm production and is a beneficiary of higher prices, not all outcomes would be positive for Australia, such as if higher food prices weighed on consumer sentiment and spending appetite, they said.

The analysts also warned the direct inflation impact of higher food prices is significant for emerging and developing economies but generally low for advanced economies, where food accounts for a much smaller share of consumer spending.

"Spikes in food prices can spill over beyond the broad economics into other areas as well," they said. "There are indications, for example, that periods of rapid food` price rises are often followed by periods of above-average civil conflict."
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« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 12:45:28 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/us-natural-disaster-area-drought-150130308.html

U.S. declares drought-stricken states largest natural disaster area ever

7/12/12



The United States Department of Agriculture has declared natural disaster areas in more than 1,000 counties and 26 drought-stricken states, making it the largest natural disaster in America ever.

The declaration—which covers roughly half of the country—gives farmers and ranchers devastated by drought access to federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.

"Agriculture remains a bright spot in our nation's economy," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday while announcing the assistance program. "We need to be cognizant of the fact that drought and weather conditions have severely impacted farmers around the country."

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than half the country (56 percent) experienced drought conditions—the largest percentage in the 12-year history of the service. And according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the period from January through June was "the warmest first half of any year on record for the contiguous United States."

The average temperature was 52.9 degrees Fahrenheit, or 4.5 degrees above average, NOAA said on Monday. Twenty-eight states east of the Rockies set temperature records for the six-month period.

A heat wave blistered most of the United States in June, with more than 170 all-time temperature records broken or tied during the month. On June 28 in Norton, Kan., for instance, the temperature reached 118 degrees, an all-time high. On June 26, Red Willow, Neb., set a temperature record of 115 degrees, eclipsing the 114-degree mark set in 1932.

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« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 04:32:27 pm »

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48162896/ns/business-us_business/

Global food crisis looms as grain prices soar

The world is watching and waiting while US farmers struggle with the worst drought in 25 years


LONDON — What looks to be the worst U.S. drought in a quarter of a century has given rise to an old-fashioned commodity rally on world markets, with key grain prices hitting highs which caused food crises in vulnerable parts of the globe last time around.

Seeking to protect their populations from hunger this time, many countries relying heavily on imports have held off for now, touting healthy stock levels and hoping other sources will come through and bring prices down.
 
But their hopes may be dashed if they all return to market at once.
 
With so much of the world putting faith in a record U.S. corn crop, it is little wonder that prices have surged around 40 percent in the past three weeks as relentless dry weather melted yield expectations for cereals. Soybeans are at record highs, while wheat is not far behind.
 
"Production potential looked great and it kind of lulled these end-users into a false sense of security. At that point we were seriously looking at (corn) prices under $5 if weather conditions remained ideal, but now we've rallied sharply higher and never looked back," Jefferies Bache analyst Shawn McCambridge said.
 
Now, corn futures contracts backed by the 2012 harvest are above $7 a bushel and climbing fast.
 
Traders said consumers in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East had pulled back on regular purchases, expecting prices to cool off.
 
"This to me is a time bomb. I am routinely one of the more bearish people but it wouldn't surprise me if corn traded at $10," the trader added.
 
There are several parallels between the current state of play and food crises of the past few years, including scorching weather, wilting crops and sky-rocketing prices. Just substitute 2012's U.S. drought and corn for 2010's Russian crop failure.
 
Similarities can also be found on the macro front - 2008, when prices were last at these levels, saw a mushrooming financial crisis culminate in the failure of Lehman Brothers, and now Europe's debt crisis has left the euro zone precariously balanced, with other regions also on edge.
 
The uncertainty has led to swings in all the markets this time as then, but the simple common denominator of supply and demand has been the driving force of the latest grain price spike, with weather the only fundamental that matters.

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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2012, 06:12:28 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/u-crops-wilting-despite-scattered-midwest-rains-172854645.html

7/14/12

U.S. crops wilting despite scattered Midwest rains

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Scattered rains over the last 24 hours provided little relief for U.S. Midwest corn and soybean crops that are rapidly deteriorating in the worst drought since 1988, and the forecast is for scant rain for the next two weeks, meteorologists said on Saturday.

"Overall the rain yesterday won't put a dent in the drought because they were spotty hit or miss kind of rains. Certainly some isolated areas will benefit, but it was not a significant drought buster," said AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Pydynowski.

Thunderstorms on Friday left from 0.25 inch to 0.50 inch of rain in portions of eastern Iowa and northern Illinois, including Chicago, with isolated amounts up to one inch, meteorologists said.

There were similar showers of "0.25 inch or so" in portions of parched southern Indiana and southern Illinois, Pydynowski said.

Some showers were expected in the Midwest from Saturday through the end of next week, MDA EarthSat Weather meteorologist Steve Silver said. But the minimal amount of rain accompanied by high temperatures will continue to stress crops.

"There won't be enough rain to dent the drought," Silver said.

Only about 25 percent of the Midwest received some rain on Friday with most of the moisture in Wisconsin, Minnesota, eastern Iowa, northeast Missouri and a few spots in central and northern Illinois, said Joel Widenor, meteorologist for Commodity Weather Group (CWG).

"There was some local relief and about 20 to 25 percent of the Midwest will see similar rains during the next 1 to 5 days," Widenor said.

Meteorologists agreed that the combination of high temperatures and minimal rainfall will continue to erode production prospects for the 2012 corn and soybean crops.

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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2012, 07:41:29 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/us-poverty-track-rise-highest-since-1960s-112946547--finance.html

7/22/12

WASHINGTON (AP) — The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net.

Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections.

The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent. Several predicted a more modest gain, but even a 0.1 percentage point increase would put poverty at the highest level since 1965.

Poverty is spreading at record levels across many groups, from underemployed workers and suburban families to the poorest poor. More discouraged workers are giving up on the job market, leaving them vulnerable as unemployment aid begins to run out. Suburbs are seeing increases in poverty, including in such political battlegrounds as Colorado, Florida and Nevada, where voters are coping with a new norm of living hand to mouth.

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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2012, 07:17:11 am »

The Price Of Corn Hits A Record High As A Global Food Crisis Looms

Are you ready for the next major global food crisis?  The price of corn hit an all-time record high on Thursday.  So did the price of soybeans.  The price of corn is up about 50 percent since the middle of last month, and the price of wheat has risen by about 50 percent over the past five weeks.  On Thursday, corn for September delivery reached $8.166 per bushel, and many analysts believe that it could hit $10 a bushel before this crisis is over.  The worst drought in the United States in more than 50 years is projected to continue well into August, and more than 1,300 counties in the United States have been declared to be official natural disaster areas.  So how is this crisis going to affect the average person on the street?  Well, most Americans and most Europeans are going to notice their grocery bills go up significantly over the coming months.  That will not be pleasant.  But in other areas of the world this crisis could mean the difference between life and death for some people.  You see, half of all global corn exports come from the United States.  So what happens if the U.S. does not have any corn to export?  About a billion people around the world live on the edge of starvation, and today the Financial Times ran a front page story with the following headline: "World braced for new food crisis".  Millions upon millions of families in poor countries are barely able to feed themselves right now.  So what happens if the price of the food that they buy goes up dramatically?

You may not think that you eat much corn, but the truth is that it is in most of the things that we buy at the grocery store.  In fact, corn is found in about 74 percent of the products we buy in the supermarket and it is used in more than 3,500 ways.

Americans consume approximately one-third of all the corn grown in the world each year, and we export massive amounts of corn to the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, thanks to the drought of 2012 farmers are watching their corn die right in front of their eyes all over the United States.

The following is from a Washington Post article that was posted on Thursday....

Nearly 40 percent of the corn crop was in poor-to-very-poor condition as of Sunday, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department. That compared with just 11 percent a year ago.

“The crop, if you look going south from Illinois and Indiana, is damaged and a lot of it is damaged hopelessly and beyond repair now,” said Sterling Smith, a Citibank Institutional Client Group vice president who specializes in commodities.

About 30 percent of the soybean crop was in poor-to-very-poor condition, which compared with 10 percent a year ago.

Conditions for both crops are expected to worsen in Monday’s agriculture agency report.
More than half of the country is experiencing drought conditions right now, and this is devastating both ranchers and farmers.  Right now, ranchers all over the western United States are slaughtering their herds early as feed prices rise.  It is being projected that the price of meat will rise substantially later this year.

The following is from a recent MSNBC article....

For example, you may want to make room in your freezer for meat because prices for beef and pork are expected to drop in the next few months as farmers slaughter herds to deal with the high cost of grains that are used as livestock feed, said Shawn Hackett of the agricultural commodities firm Hackett Financial Advisors in Boynton Beach, Fla. But, he added, everything from milk to salad dressing is going to cost more in the near term, and eventually the meat deals will evaporate as demand outstrips supply.
So there may be some deals on meat in the short-term as all of these animals are slaughtered, but in the long-term we can expect prices to go up quite a bit.

But it isn't as if food is not already expensive enough.  The price of food rose much faster than the overall rate of inflation last year.

As I wrote about yesterday, American families found their grocery budgets stretched very thin during 2011.  Just check out these food inflation rates from last year....

Beef: +10.2%
Pork: +8.5%
Fish: +7.1%
Eggs: +9.2%
Dairy: +6.8%
Oils and Fats: +9.3%
If prices rose that fast last year, what will those statistics look like at the end of this year if this drought continues?

Sadly, America is not alone.  According to Bloomberg, the U.S. is not the only place that is having problems with crops right now....

Dry weather in the U.S., as well as the Black Sea region; a poor start to the Indian monsoon and the possibility of emerging El Nino conditions suggest agricultural products may rally, Barclays said in a report e-mailed yesterday.
And all of this is very bad news for a world that is really struggling to feed itself.

In many countries around the globe, the poor spend up to 75 percent of their incomes on food.  Just a 10 percent increase in the price of basic food staples can be absolutely devastating for impoverished families that are living right on the edge.

You may not have ever known what it is like to wonder where your next meal is going to come from, but in many areas around the world that is a daily reality for many families.

Just check out what is happening in Yemen....

Crying and staring at his distended belly, 6-year-old Warood cannot walk on his spindly legs.

"We become so familiar with sickness," said his mother, who according to social norms here does not give her name to outsiders.

She says she has watched two of her children die. "I have to decide: Do I buy rice or medicine?"

The United Nations estimates that 267,000 Yemeni children are facing life-threatening levels of malnutrition. In the Middle East's poorest country hunger has doubled since 2009. More than 10 million people — 44% of the population — do not have enough food to eat, according to the United Nation's World Food Program.
In the United States, we aren't going to see starvation even if nearly the entire corn crop fails.  Our grocery bills might be more painful, but there is still going to be plenty of food for everyone.

In other areas of the world, a bad year for global crops can mean the difference between life and death.

Sadly, it is being projected that the current drought in the United States will last well into August at least.

But even when this current drought ends, our problems will not be over.  The truth is that we are facing a very severe long-term water crisis in the western United States.

Just check out the following facts from foodandwaterwatch.org....

-California has a 20-year supply of freshwater left

-New Mexico has only a ten-year supply of freshwater left

-The U.S. interior west is probably the driest it has been in 500 years, according to the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Geological Survey

-Lake Mead, the vast reservoir of the Colorado River, has a 50 percent chance of running dry by 2021

The 1,450 mile long Colorado River is probably the most important body of water in the southwestern United States.

Unfortunately, the Colorado River is rapidly dying.

The following is from a recent article by Jonathan Waterman about how the once might Colorado River is running dry...

Fifty miles from the sea, 1.5 miles south of the Mexican border, I saw a river evaporate into a scum of phosphates and discarded water bottles. This dirty water sent me home with feet so badly infected that I couldn’t walk for a week. And a delta once renowned for its wildlife and wetlands is now all but part of the surrounding and parched Sonoran Desert. According to Mexican scientists whom I met with, the river has not flowed to the sea since 1998. If the Endangered Species Act had any teeth in Mexico, we might have a chance to save the giant sea bass (totoaba), clams, the Sea of Cortez shrimp fishery that depends upon freshwater returns, and dozens of bird species.

So let this stand as an open invitation to the former Secretary of the Interior and all water buffalos who insist upon telling us that there is no scarcity of water here or in the Mexican Delta. Leave the sprinklered green lawns outside the Aspen conferences, come with me, and I’ll show you a Colorado River running dry from its headwaters to the sea. It is polluted and compromised by industry and agriculture. It is overallocated, drought stricken, and soon to suffer greatly from population growth. If other leaders in our administration continue the whitewash, the scarcity of knowledge and lack of conservation measures will cripple a western civilization built upon water. “You can either do it in crisis mode,” Pat Mulroy said at this conference, “or you can start educating now.”
People need to wake up because we have some very serious water issues in this country.

In the heartland of America, farmers pump water from a massive underground lake known as the Ogallala Aquifer to irrigate their fields.

The problem is that the Ogallala Aquifer is rapidly being pumped dry.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie" has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.

Once upon a time, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of about 240 feet.

Today, the average depth of the Ogallala Aquifer is just 80 feet, and in some parts of Texas the water is totally gone.

Right now, the Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

Once that water is gone it will not be replaced.

So what will the "breadbasket of America" do then?

Most Americans do not realize this, but we are facing some major, major water problems.

Let us pray that this current drought ends and let us pray that everyone around the world will have enough to eat.

But even if we get through this year okay by some miracle, that doesn't mean that our problems are over.



http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-price-of-corn-hits-a-record-high-as-a-global-food-crisis-looms
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« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2012, 09:04:43 am »

http://www.agweb.com/article/2012_drought_officially_reaches_dust_bowl-era_intensity
2012 Drought Officially Reaches Dust Bowl-Era Intensity
 
July 19, 2012
NCDC marks June 2012 as the 6th worst month on record.
 
It’s time to stop comparing this year’s drought to the dire conditions of 1988. The 2012 drought has officially entered Dust Bowl-era intensity. The percentage of U.S. currently in drought now rivals conditions not seen since the mid-1950s and early 1930s.
 
A recent report by the Weather Channel indicates that more than 54% of the nation was in drought this June, which makes it the 6th worst month since the National Climatic Data Center began tracking such data in 1895.
 
Highest Percentage of U.S. In Drought
 
July 1934

79.9%

December 1939

62.1%

July 1954

60.4%

December 1956

57.6%

September 1931

54.9%

June 2012

54.6%

August 1936

54.4%

May 1925

54.0%

June 1977

52.5%

June 1988

52.3%


July
 
Here are some additional items of interest, collected from various media outlets:
 
A map on USA Today compares the drought intensity between 2012 and 1934.

CNN recently interviewed Indiana farmer Brian Scott about how the drought has affected his Indiana farm.
 
Illinois farmer David Albin shares some of his recent observations on the drought and what still needs to be done this crop season, at this week's Farm Journal Corn College.
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« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2012, 09:08:55 am »

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-07-18/milk-dairy-prices-rise/56321228/1

7/19/12

Drought expected to drive up cost of milk, cheese

The heat and drought ravaging much of the nation will soon be hitting America at the supermarket counter: cheese and milk prices will rise first, and corn and meat are probably not far behind.

Price hikes in basic food staples are causing huge concern to milk producers and others who rely on dairy to sustain an important part of the national farming economy.

The rises foreshadow expected price hikes in coming months for other food staples, such as meat, says Bruce Jones, a professor of agricultural economy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dairy is affected quickly because cows immediately make less milk.

There will still be milk to buy, says Roger Hoskin, an agricultural economist with the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. "I can't imagine situations where you'd have people standing in line to get milk at the dairy counter. But they might not want it at the price it's selling at."

He adds that "you'll see less cheese on pizzas and in salad bars."

Temperatures in the 90s and above mean cows give less milk, and sky-high feed prices are making it more expensive to feed them. Add to that the cost dairies must pay for fans and sprinkler systems to keep the animals cool during long hot days and nights.

This year, every state east of the Rockies is enduring its hottest or second-hottest year on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Overall, 28 states are seeing their hottest year since accurate weather records began in 1895.

Milk prices are actually the lowest they've been in 18 months because of surpluses built up over an ultra-mild winter and spring. In March 2011, wholesale milk sold for $19.60 per hundred pounds. Last month, it was $16.10, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service figures.

By August, the cost of a gallon of milk at the supermarket could rise by 10 to 15 cents and by Christmas an additional 25 cents on top of that, says Mary Ledman, chief analyst with the Daily Dairy Report in Libertyville, Ill.

Wholesale cheese prices are at about $1.72 a pound. "I expect the cheese price to get up to $1.95 in November," says Jerry Dryer, editor of the Dairy & Food Market Analyst in Delray Beach, Fla.

"We've had seven records here in July that have already been broken," says Richard Gorder of Gorder Dairy in Mineral Point, Wis. His 60 Holsteins are producing about 20% less milk because of the heat. "They don't want to do anything, they don't eat," he says.

Since there's been no rain since the beginning of June, "I'm looking at a corn crop that's 75% and 100% gone," he says. Corn is close to $8 a bushel. "If I have to go into the market and buy that corn, it will take me between two and three years to recover."

In Illinois, cows normally give 90 pounds of milk per cow per day. "Now they're down to around 60 pounds," says Jim Fraley of the Illinois Milk Producers Association in Bloomington, Ill.

It's an area of huge concern to milk producers. At the American Dairy Science Association annual meeting in Phoenix this week "we had a standing-room-only meeting on the needs of cows under heat stress," says Ellen Jordan, a dairy specialist at Texas A&M University-Dallas.

The top milk producing states are California, Wisconsin, Idaho, New York and Pennsylvania. Only New York is "in decent shape," in terms of heat, says Pamela Ruegg, a milk quality expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. States like Illinois, Indiana and Ohio have been severely affected.
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« Reply #24 on: July 26, 2012, 10:21:45 am »

http://news.yahoo.com/u-midwest-drought-fears-worsen-grain-prices-jump-191921587.html

Midwest drought worsens, food inflation to rise

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Scattered rain brought some relief to parts of the baking U.S. Midwest on Wednesday, but most of the region remained in the grips of the worst drought in half a century as the outlook for world food supplies and prices worsened.

The U.S. Agriculture Department forecast that food prices would now out-pace other consumer costs through 2013 as drought destroys crops and erodes supplies.

"The drought is really going to hit food prices next year," said USDA economist Richard Volpe, adding that pressure on food prices would start building later this year.

"It's already affecting corn and soybean prices, but then it has to work its way all the way through the system into feed prices and then animal prices, then wholesale prices and then finally, retail prices," Volpe said in an interview.

The USDA now sees food prices rising between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent in 2012 and another 3-4 percent in 2013.

Food prices will rise more rapidly than overall U.S. inflation, the USDA said, a turnabout from the usual pattern. U.S. inflation is estimated at 2 percent this year and 1.9 percent in 2013. Food inflation was 3.7 percent last year but only 0.8 percent in 2010.

On Wednesday, the USDA added another 76 counties to its list of areas designated for disaster aid, bringing the total to 1,369 counties in 31 states across the country. Two-thirds of the United States is now in mild or extreme drought, the agency said.

Forecasters said that after weeks of hot, dry weather the northern Corn Belt from eastern Nebraska through northern Illinois was likely to see a second day of scattered rain. But in the southern Midwest, including Missouri and most of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, more hot, dry weather was likely.

"Most of these areas need an excess of 10 inches of rain to break the drought," said Jim Keeney, a National Weather Service meteorologist, referring to Kansas through Ohio. "This front is not expected to bring much more than a 1/2 to 1 inch in any particular area. It's not a drought buster by any means."

The central and southern Midwest saw more temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday, with St Louis at 101 F.

"There's no change in the drought pattern, just thunderstorms shifting around," said Andy Karst, a meteorologist for World Weather Inc. "There are no soaking rains seen through August 8."

The outlook sent Chicago Board of Trade grain markets higher after prices had come down from last week's record highs.

Chicago Board of Trade corn for September delivery closed 4-1/2 cents higher at $7.94-1/2 a bushel, compared to the record high of $8.28-3/4 set last week. August soybeans ended 45 cents higher at $16.94-1/4, compared to last week's record of $17.77-3/4. September wheat rose 24-1/2 cents at $9.03-1/4, compared to last week's 4-year high at $9.47-1/4.

The prices have markets around the world concerned that local food costs will soar because imports will be expensive, food aid for countries from China to Egypt will not be available, and food riots could occur as in the past.

The United States is the world's largest exporter of corn, soybeans and wheat.

Major losses in the massive U.S. corn crop, which is used for dozens of products from ethanol fuels to livestock feed, have been reported by field tours this week.

Soybeans, planted later than corn, are struggling to set pods, but if rain that has been forecast falls, soybeans may be saved from the worst effects of the drought.

A Reuters poll on Tuesday showed that U.S. corn yields could fall to a 10-year low, and the harvest could end up being the lowest in six years. Extensive damage has already been reflected in declining weekly crop reports from Corn Belt states.

"Monday's crop ratings showed losses on par with the damage seen during the 1988 drought if these conditions persist," said Bryce Knorr, senior editor for Farm Futures Magazine. "Weather so far has taken almost 4 billion bushels off the corn crop, so a lot of demand must still be rationed."

In Putnam County, Indiana, this week, crop scouts did not even stop to inspect corn fields since a glance convinced them that farmers would plow crops under rather than trying to harvest anything.

On Wednesday, scouts in central Illinois reported that some corn fields were better than expected, having benefited from early planting and pollination after a warm winter and spring.

Tom Womack of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture said some recent rains had helped soybean prospects, but "the damage that has been done to the corn has been done. No amount of rainfall will help us recover what we lost in the corn crop."

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed an order on Wednesday that will allow farmers to cut hay for their livestock from grass growing along highways adjacent to their properties.

Fire threats were growing in portions of the Plains. On Wednesday, firefighters from three north-central Nebraska counties and the National Guard battled expanding wildfires that have consumed more than 60,000 acres in the last week.

On Wednesday, helicopters dumped water on wildfires, ignited by lightning, that have been burning since the weekend in the Niobrara River Valley.

"We are making progress, but continued support is needed," Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said.

In Missouri, one of the nation's driest states, the highway patrol said smoke from grass and brush fires was creating "very dangerous driving conditions." Discarded cigarettes were cited as a factor in those fires.

Across the Midwest, cities and towns restricted water use for gardens and lawns and tried to save stressed trees with drip bags. Reservoir and river levels were low and being carefully watched, and restrictions were placed on barge movements along the Mississippi River and recreational boating.

SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME?

The U.S. drought has been blamed on the El Nino phenomenon in the western Pacific Ocean, a warming of sea temperatures that affects global atmosphere and can prevent moisture from the Gulf of Mexico from reaching the U.S. Midwest breadbasket.

Some scientists have warned that this year's U.S. drought, already deemed the worst since 1956, is tied to climate factors that could have even worse effects in coming years.

Dangerously hot summer days have become more common across the Midwest in the last 60 years, and the region will face more potentially deadly weather as the climate warms, according to a report issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists (USC) on Wednesday.

The report looked at weather trends in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis and St. Louis and smaller cities such as Peoria, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio.

The report found that the number of hot, humid days has increased, on average, across the Midwest since the 1940s and 1950s, while hot, dry days have become hotter.

Finding relief from the heat has become more difficult, as all the cities studied now have fewer cool, dry days in the summer and night-time temperatures have risen.

"Night-time is typically when people get relief, especially those who don't have air conditioning," said Steve Frenkel, UCS's Midwest office director. "The risks of heat-related illness and death increase with high nighttime temperatures."

In Chicago, more than 700 deaths were attributed to a heat wave in July 1995. With more extreme summer heat, annual deaths in Chicago are projected to rise from 143 from 2020-2029 to 300 between 2090-2099, the report said.

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« Reply #25 on: July 26, 2012, 10:10:56 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/drought-worsens-despite-rains-midwest-144514960.html

7/26/12

Drought diminishes mighty Mississippi, puts heat on Congress

CHICAGO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The severe drought in the U.S. Midwest wreaked more havoc across the country on Thursday, forcing barges on the Mississippi River to lighten loads for fear of getting stuck and raising concerns about higher prices for food and gasoline.

Damage to crops in the most extensive drought in five decades and the pressure of the November elections sparked some action in the U.S. Congress to bring relief to farmers and make progress on a generous farm bill.

"When times are tough for farmers, they tend to be more active politically," Iowa Senator Charles Grassley said, urging fellow Republicans to act on the farm bill and avoid punishment at the polls.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that Republican leaders were working with the Agriculture Committee "on an appropriate path forward."

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« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2012, 10:18:43 am »

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0727-illinois-drought-20120727,0,7434317.story

Worsening Illinois drought points to increasingly ominous signs for crops
Dry spell, which could becomes state's worst on record, may lead to higher food prices


By Michelle Manchir, Chicago Tribune reporter
 
July 27, 2012
More than 95 percent of Illinois is in a severe drought or worse, according to a national report Thursday that increased concerns about how the hot, dry summer is affecting farming.

Most of Cook County is in a moderate drought, and other parts of the Chicago area are suffering through severe drought. But the central and southern portions of Illinois are experiencing even worse conditions that are classified as extreme or exceptional, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Surrounding states, especially Missouri and Indiana, have also been hit hard, with 55.5 percent of the Midwest experiencing at least a severe drought, compared with 45.6 percent of the country.

The drought center's new report doesn't take into account the bit of rain the Chicago area received this week — about 0.55 inch fell at O'Hare International Airport on Tuesday and Wednesday — but it would take 3 inches or more to have made any significant improvement, said drought center climatologist Brian Fuchs.

"In a lot of places in Illinois, this is the worst they remember," said Emerson Nafziger, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois.

About 66 percent of the state's corn crop is in poor to very poor condition, according to a report his week from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. In states that are major producers of corn nationwide, about 45 percent of the corn is poor or worse, though the total produced this year won't be known until after September, when harvesting begins, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During the same time last year, only 14 percent of corn crops nationwide were considered poor.

"We're sitting here, watching the sky; it looks like it could rain," Nafziger said in by telephone from near Vandalia. "People are kind of pessimistic."

Nationally, almost 40 percent of agricultural land is experiencing at least a severe drought, which makes the 2012 drought more extensive than any other since the 1950s, according to the USDA.

Illinois Climatologist Jim Angel said July's heat and lack of rain could make this drought its worst on record, especially because all across the state, farmers' soil is showing signs of having very little moisture, something essential for plant health.

"In a normal season we rely on soil moisture to get you through August, but we don't have that," Angel said.

Less corn production usually means higher food prices, according to the USDA, though the full effect of a sparse corn harvest wouldn't move through to grocery stores until at least 10 months from now. But grocery shoppers could see the price of chicken or eggs and other meats increase sooner than that, since farmers often scale back on their livestock when the cost of corn feed is high, which can happen when corn production is low, Nafziger said.

Still, some say there's room for optimism. Angel said long-term forecasts show an increased chance of above-normal precipitation and more normal temperatures over the next two weeks. The heat and dry weather looks to be shifting to the west, maybe making the Midwest a little wetter and milder, Angel said.

"That's good news if it pans out," Angel said.
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« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2012, 02:54:46 pm »

For those without faith in Jesus, there are some severly rough times ahead.

But His own know...

"Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" Matthew 6:26 (KJB)
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« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2012, 10:03:50 am »

7/27/12

US 'extreme drought' zones triple in size


July 27, 2012 by Andrew Gully

A field of dead corn sits next to an ethanol plant July 25, in Palestine, Illinois. The drought in America's breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts warned, driving concern food prices could soar if crops in the world's key producer are decimated.

The drought in America's breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts warned, driving concern food prices could soar if crops in the world's key producer are decimated.

The US Drought Monitor reported a nearly threefold increase in areas of extreme drought over the past week in the nine Midwestern states where three quarters of the country's corn and soybean crops are produced.

"That expansion of D3 or extreme conditions intensified quite rapidly and we went from 11.9 percent to 28.9 percent in just one week," Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and Drought Monitor author, told AFP.

"For myself, studying drought, that's rapid. We've seen a lot of things developing with this drought that were unprecedented, especially the speed."

Almost two thirds of the continental United States are now suffering drought conditions, the largest area recorded since the Drought Monitor project started in 1999.

"If you are following the grain prices here in the US, they are reflecting the anticipated shortages with a price increase," Fuchs said.

A farmer moves an irrigation system into a cornfield near Whiteland, Indiana. The drought in America's breadbasket is intensifying at an unprecedented rate, experts warned, driving concern food prices could soar if crops in the world's key producer are decimated.

"In turn, you're going to see those price increases trickle into the other areas that use those grain crops: cattle feed, ethanol production and then food stuffs."

In some rural areas, municipal water suppliers are talking about mandatory restrictions because they have seen such a dramatic drop in the water table that they fear being unable to fulfill deliveries to customers, Fuchs said.

"Things have really developed over the last two months and conditions have worsened just that quick and that is really unprecedented," he added.

"Definitely exports are going to suffer because there is going to be less available and the markets are already reflecting that.

 Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-07-extreme-drought-zones-triple-size.html#jCp
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« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2012, 07:51:30 am »

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_07_30/Drought-and-wild-fires-destroy-Russian-harvest/

Drought and wild fires destroy Russian harvest

7/30/12

Russia is currently in the grips of an extremely strong heat wave. City and town residents are suffocating from the sweltering heat. For example, it is about 30 degrees in Moscow with prospects of the thermometer going up in the next few days. The heat wave situation is aggravated by wild fires producing clods of poisonous smoke. The wood rich Siberian taiga near Krasnoyarsk is fighting 83 fires on the territory of 12.130 hectares. As for rural Russia, that only last year was the world’s third-biggest grain producer, it suffers colossal damages. It threats to destroy a significant part of the crops. If last year’s harvest amounted to 94 million tons, this year it is a predicted at 80 to 85 million. Given the situation, earlier in July the Agriculture Ministry had to revise its harvest predictions.

As Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes, the hardest hit are the important grain-producing areas including Kuban, Stavropol, Volgograd, Volga, Rostov-on-Don, Lipetsk, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Kurgan and Altai. Nevertheless, Arkady Zlochevsky, president of the Russian Grain Union thinks that “The risks are there, but then there is a chance to avoid them.” Zlochevksy added that there will be 85 million tons of crops and the size of the harvest would depend on the weather. With the leftover stocks from previous harvests, the export potential will then be about 18-20 million tons. Although this is less than last year, when the country exported more than 26 million tons, it is still better than 2010, when the droughts and wild fires in Russia ruined about a third of all the grain harvested and the country had to impose an embargo on grain exports. The area of Russia’s irrigated fields is about 2.5 million hectares, and Russia has 44 million hectares of land under spring crops this year. “The biggest losses are not caused by the weather, it is rather the failure to comply with production rules in bad weather,” said Zlochevsky.

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