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"and there shall be famines..."

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October 18, 2014, 10:12:23 pm BornAgain2 says: Remember Lot's wife
October 16, 2014, 04:39:38 am Christian40 says: Psalm 91:5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. 8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
October 13, 2014, 10:11:06 am christistruth says: 2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
September 29, 2014, 05:33:00 am Christian40 says: Proverbs 21:31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.
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September 27, 2014, 11:18:53 pm rick50 says: Thx for the welcome. I like to dig into the scriptures seeking God`s truths and I enjoy presenting scriptures in challenging ways. Hopefully I can do that in the right spirit. I used to engage in a lot of debates but about 6 years ago I repented for it and haven`t participated in any online religeous discussions since then until now. My number 1 goal is to express myself in ways that God likes while still upholding the beliefs that God has led me into. I love to learn new things about the scriptures.
September 27, 2014, 02:12:13 pm tennis shoe says: Sure got lively around here. Good to see such spirited discussion. Welcome Rick Shocked.
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September 24, 2014, 05:00:00 pm rick50 says: Hello, I`m a new member and I live in the middle portion of Babylon. The board looks really interesting and I believe just what I needed. It`s a blessing and I look forward to participating.
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Author Topic: "and there shall be famines..."  (Read 1356 times)
BornAgain2
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« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2012, 10:20:21 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/mercury-rising-5-consequences-drought-scorching-american-farmland-172528603.html

Mercury rising: 5 consequences from the drought that’s scorching American farmland

7/31/12

The worst drought in a generation is punishing farmers and burning up the nation's corn crop. Nearly 65 percent of the nation is experiencing a drought right now, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Many farmers were just trying to get over last summer's dry spell when the hottest June on record rolled in, threatening to destroy crops and desiccate pastures.
 
While it's still unclear exactly what the drought will mean for the U.S. environment and economy, a few concerning consequences are already apparent. But experts predict other worrisome outcomes yet to come. (If you have stories or photos about how the drought is affecting you, share them with us here.) Here are a few consequences that could crop up due to the drought:
 
1. Rising food prices at home
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture warned last week that Americans should expect to pay 3 to 5 percent more for groceries next year because of the drought. Most of the price hikes will be for chicken, pork, beef and dairy, since the dry weather is scorching up the nation's corn crop, which feeds these animals. Soybeans and wheat prices are also on the rise. Other fruits and veggies, most of which are irrigated, aren't likely to be as affected.
 
2. World food prices and social unrest
 
While no one likes to have to pay more for food, Americans are on the whole much less vulnerable to food price spikes because, on average, they spend less than 15 percent of their budgets on food. In developing nations, such as India, food spending accounts for nearly half of the average household's funds. While experts don't know for sure how the drought will affect world food prices, many nations depend upon America's corn, soybean and wheat exports. Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, Peru, South Korea and East African countries are the most dependent on U.S. corn imports, the Guardian reported last week. Food prices and social unrest have been closely correlated over the past five years, leaving experts to fear a repeat of  2007 and 2010, when waves of social unrest followed food cost hikes.
 
3. Sad, skinny animals at county fairs
 
Though far less serious than some of the other drought outcomes, the AP reports that prize animals showing up at state and county fairs this summer are far skinnier than their prize-winning ancestors. In one Wisconsin-area fair, entries were down by two-thirds, as farmers said they were too busy struggling to stay afloat with their dried-up pastures and the rising cost of feed to enter into the contests at all.
 
4. Wildfires
 
Firefighters have been battling wildfires in Nebraska, Arkansas, California, Texas, Colorado and other states this summer. Extra-dry conditions mean more fires are likely as the summer stretches on.
 
5. Barges stuck on riverbeds, roads buckling
 
The drought is taking its toll on key transportation and infrastructure in the country. The Mississippi River has gotten so low that barge operators are worried they will get stuck while navigating it. They've had to lighten their loads, which means taking more trips to transport $180 billion in grain, coal and other goods. Meanwhile, roads are buckling, water pipes are bursting, and power lines are burning up in wildfires due to the nine-month drought, reports The Texas Tribune.
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« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2012, 09:24:42 am »


http://news.yahoo.com/half-us-counties-now-considered-disaster-areas-210826921.html
Half of US counties now considered disaster areas

8/1/12

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Nearly 220 counties in a dozen drought-stricken states were added Wednesday to the U.S. government's list of natural disaster areas as the nation's agriculture chief unveiled new help for frustrated, cash-strapped farmers and ranchers grappling with extreme dryness and heat.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's addition of the 218 counties means that more than half of all U.S. counties — 1,584 in 32 states — have been designated primary disaster areas this growing season, the vast majority of them mired in a drought that's considered the worst in decades.
 
Counties in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming were included in Wednesday's announcement. The USDA uses the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor to help decide which counties to deem disaster areas, which makes farmers and ranchers eligible for federal aid, including low-interest emergency loans.
 
To help ease the burden on the nation's farms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday opened up 3.8 million acres of conservation land for ranchers to use for haying and grazing. Under that conservation program, farmers have been paid to take land out of production to ward against erosion and create wildlife habitat.
 
"The assistance announced today will help U.S. livestock producers dealing with climbing feed prices, critical shortages of hay and deteriorating pasturelands," Vilsack said.
 
Vilsack also said crop insurers have agreed to provide farmers facing cash-flow issues a penalty-free, 30-day grace period on premiums in 2012.
 
As of this week, nearly half of the nation's corn crop was rated poor to very poor, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. About 37 percent of the U.S. soybeans were lumped into that category, while nearly three-quarters of U.S. cattle acreage is in drought-affected areas, the survey showed.
 
The potential financial fallout in the nation's midsection appears to be intensifying. The latest weekly Mid-America Business Conditions Index, released Wednesday, showed that the ongoing drought and global economic turmoil is hurting business in nine Midwest and Plains states, boosting worries about the prospect of another recession, according to the report.
 
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the index, said the drought will hurt farm income while the strengthening dollar hinders exports, meaning two of the most important positive factors in the region's economy are being undermined.
 
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
 
Thursday's expansion of federal relief was welcomed in rain-starved states like Illinois, where the USDA's addition of 66 counties leaves just four of the state's 102 counties — Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will, all in the Chicago area — without the natural disaster classification.
 
The Illinois State Water Survey said the state has averaged just 12.6 inches from January to June 2012, the sixth-driest first half of a year on record. Compounding matters is that Illinois has seen above-normal temperatures each month, with the statewide average of 52.8 degrees over the first six months logged as the warmest on record.
 
"While harvest has yet to begin, we already see that the drought has caused considerable crop damage," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said. In his state, 71 percent of the corn crop and 56 percent of soybean acreage is considered poor or very poor.
 
In South Dakota, where roughly three-fifths of the state is in severe or extreme drought, Vilsack earlier had allowed emergency haying and grazing on about 500,000 conservation acres, but not on the roughly 445,000 acres designated as wetlands.
 
Vilsack's decision to open up some wetland acres in a number of states will give farmers and ranchers a chance to get good quality forage for livestock, federal lawmakers said.
 
"The USDA cannot make it rain, but it can apply flexibility to the conservation practices," Sen. Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, said Wednesday. The USDA designated 39 of his state's counties disaster areas.
 
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« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2012, 05:56:13 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/drought-diaries-no-water-extreme-heat-hurting-americans-205201456.html

8/2/12

Drought diaries: How no water, extreme heat are hurting Americans

Along the 195-mile Embarras River, a tributary of the Wabash in southeastern Illinois, rancher Jim Gardner worries about his 200 head of Angus cattle.
 
There's enough hay -- for now. But in July, the cattle started eating winter's food, and this year's drought has already browned his fields. When the rain stopped, the ranch cut the hay for feed. The fields are now barren.
 
"You have a choice: Spend money to buy hay or spend money on fuel to get hay. We may be looking for hay again in October," Gardner writes in a first-person piece for Yahoo News.

The Embarras flows north to south, meandering through seven Illinois counties that have all been designated as "extreme" drought by the federal government. Like more than 1,500 counties across the country, water along the river is sparse or non-existent.
 
"The ponds are gone. They're just big craters now. The trees are dropping leaves, diminishing what little shade they have," Gardner writes. "Dust billows up like a giant wave, rising through barren locust trees when the cows head to pasture."
 
He said that this May he improved two fields by spreading turkey manure on them -- and it worked, sort of. They were last fields to turn brown in the drought.
 
"For more than 100 years, someone from our family has worked this dry ground," he writes. "Every decision we make carries risk of failure of ending that tradition."
 
Gardner's story is one of undoubtedly thousands of drought-related anecdotes from across the United States. There's plenty of misery to spread around: On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture named 218 additional counties to its tally of natural disaster areas, raising the number of counties nationwide with drought designations to 1,584 in 32 states. And -- as millions of Americans have learned this summer -- if it's not the drought that's problematic, it's the drought's ugly cousin: the heat wave.
 
Yahoo! News asked Americans -- ranchers, farmers, city-dwellers and anyone impacted -- to share snapshots of living in drought and extreme heat. Below are a handful of their stories.

Out west, smack in the middle of the Nevada desert, the peach orchard run by Teresa Pena-Raney's family is in jeopardy. She says the drought has been "the story for quite some time" in Hazen, this small community about 50 minutes east of Reno.
 
"A lack of water and drying trees are an everyday concern for my family. I've watched my parents' dreams shattered over the last year, and I fear no end is in sight." Pena-Raney writes that the orchard, MacKie Farms, has survived because of her family's hard work, dedication and dreams.
 
But a local water irrigation consortium shut off water from the nearby Truckee Canal, leaving Hazen bone-dry. At one point, water was shut off for eight months, she writes.
 
"This just doesn't mean agricultural water, either; this meant water to residents' wells too. As our neighbors watched their fields dry up, we watched others go into turmoil with no running household water either.
 
"I realize the heat, stuck in the high 90s every day, has quite a bit to do with local hardships. And if the politics hadn't hit our farm first, the heat would have. With the water, we can save our farms. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep hauling water in buckets until the last tree is gone."


"Nature is screwing with us," Kayla Stanley writes from Napoleon, a southern Michigan town of about 1,250 residents. "The grass is not only brown and dead. The grass is hard and does not bend; it snaps."
 
Napoleon is under a severe drought advisory. Stanley writes: "I have to make sure my mother does not throw cigarette butts on the grass in fear we will blow up in a wild raging fire. People in the Midwest are painting their grass green because of water bans. The last time we cut the grass was months ago. No rain = no growing grass."

In Olney, Ill., lumberyard worker Kenneth Zimmerle labors outdoors through 100-degree days, low humidity and no rain -- "maybe three rains since April," he writes.
 
"Some days I am so exhausted from the heat, I have been going to bed before 8 p.m.," Zimmerle writes. "This triple-digit heat has also affected our business since it is almost impossible to put shingles on in this type of weather. There are only a few hours a day that this can be done."
 
He says crops -- mainly corn -- in this area of eastern Illinois are dried, dead and worthless. Trees are breaking because there's no water. Flowers and plants are yellowing or dead. He hasn't mowed his lawn in more than three months.
 
"As we approach the halfway point in summer, there is no sign of relief from the drought," he writes.

While mercury rises in Oklahoma -- it hit 112 in Pawhuska, Okla., on Tuesday -- the water levels have plummeted, bolstering chances of wildfires.
 
"More than 50 of Oklahoma's 77 counties have issued burn bans and many are pressuring Gov. Mary Fallin to issue a statewide burn ban," Marie Lowe writes from Pawhuska. "The pressure was increased this week after a wildfire destroyed homes in Stillwater."
 
In Kay County, firefighters responded to seven fires in seven days in July.
 
In Blackwell, the main water source, the Chikaskia River, was measured at 1.74 feet on July 20 and water restrictions were put into place. On July 31, water measurements were as low as 1.23 feet.
 
"I noticed several creeks and ponds that are no longer there," Lowe says. "One creek named Lost Creek appears to be literally lost. In Newkirk, a pond located near a **** is no longer there and neither are the cattle that used to drink out of it."

In Iowa, even the weeds are having trouble. Kimberly Schatz, who has lived nearly her whole life in the northeastern farming community of Shell Rock, writes that the dust clouds are so thick that they move through the yard like a fog.
 
"Looking out at the corn and bean fields surrounding our home, I have watched them deteriorate almost daily over the past couple of weeks," she writes. "The corn field on the south side started browning at the roots more than two weeks ago, but the fields to the west have just started browning at the roots in the last four or five days."
 
Schatz's vegetable garden is withering: onions dying off, corns and beans producing very little crops and apples rotting as soon as they ripen.
 
"I have not had to mow our five acres in more than a month because it is all dead," she writes. "We have weeds popping up, but even those are far and few between."
 
For Rhoda Auerbach, a retired San Antonio resident, it's the drought's little things that are piling up:
 
"On Monday, I couldn't open the side door because it faces west and the heat is so extreme that it fused the weather stripping to the door frame. I'll have to get that fixed.
 
"The dog next door was lying under my outdoor faucet praying for a leak.
 
"I haven't planted anything in my yard for quite a long time; brown plant life would clash with the house.
 
"The neighborhood cats drink from my pool even though the chlorine makes them ill.
 
"I opened my car door using gloves so I wouldn't singe my hands. I started the car with the door open to reduce the effect of the hot air blasting from my AC."
 
But at least there is AC… right?
 
Not for everyone. In West Berlin, N.J., Laura Cushing's air-conditioning went kaput in July. She's taken to lying down face-first on the kitchen tile, mimicking her cats, whom she believes have figured out the secret to staying cool.
 
"The air conditioner picked a hell of a time to die," she writes. "A week into record high hot weather, leaving my husband and I soaked in sweat any time we moved more than a few inches in our third-floor apartment. The cats have been camped out on the kitchen tile, so immobile we have to poke them once in a while to make sure they haven't lost one of their nine lives.
 
"I've stuck my head into the refrigerator more times than a grown woman should admit to. I've licked ice cubes, wrapped my head in a bag of frozen peas. Tried running my wrists under cold water, and laying a wet towel over the back of my neck. I'm still hot."
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« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2012, 10:17:31 am »

http://www.webpronews.com/thousands-of-dead-fish-worth-10-million-2012-08

Thousands Of Dead Fish Worth $10 Million

8/7/12

Thousands of dead fish are cropping up in the midwest during some of the hottest days on record, and millions of dollars are being lost because of it.

Many of the fish were shovelnose sturgeon, found in Iowa and highly valued because of their eggs, which are used for expensive caviar. The fish were found dead in the Des Moines River, which rose to temperatures of more than 97 degrees last week. The species is worth about $110 a pound; the loss is valued at around $10 million.

“It’s something I’ve never seen in my career, and I’ve been here for more than 17 years,” said Mark Flammang, a biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. “I think what we’re mainly dealing with here are the extremely low flows and this unparalleled heat.”
 
Many states have suffered droughts this summer as temperatures have soared well over 100 degrees; in states like Oklahoma, that’s not so unusual, but for midwest towns like Des Moines, where crops and wildlife take top priority as money-makers, it’s devastating.

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« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2012, 02:33:57 pm »

8   And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; 
9   And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. 
10 ¶ And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; 
11   And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
Revelation 8:8-11 (KJB)
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« Reply #35 on: August 07, 2012, 06:04:28 pm »

Few people know more about commodities than top hedge fund manager Renee Haugerud. And what she sees happening in ‘the softs’ has her very worried.

Of greatest concern to her is the price of corn [CCV1  800.00     -0.50  (-0.06%)      ], which has surged in recent months due to sizzling hot temperatures scorching most of the growing region.

And although temperatures are starting to ebb lower, Haugerud says it’s too late. “The corn crop for this year is gone,” she says. “We can’t improve it.”

Haugerud tells us that the ripple will be substantial. Corn is used in a wide range of products from candy and ice cream to aspirin and toothpaste.

And considering the harvest is much smaller than expected, “We need to do something about the renewable fuel standard mandate,” says Haugerud. If we don’t, related prices could surge.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48556504
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« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2012, 10:03:23 pm »

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/S_Korea_heatwave_kills_more_than_830000_poultry_999.html

8/8/12

South Korea's extended heatwave has taken its toll on both humans and animals, with more than 830,000 chickens or other poultry reported dead as of Wednesday.

The agriculture ministry said 786,512 chickens, 40,780 ducks, 3,000 quail, 336 pigs and five cows have died since July 20, when the peak temperature began hovering above 33 Celsius (91.4 Fahrenheit) in most areas.

The stifling heat also killed seven people in June and July, the health ministry said, mostly elderly people working in fields or greenhouses.

Temperatures have stayed above 35 C for 12 days in much of the country, causing massive blooms of algae in rivers.

Sales of electric fans and air conditioners have soared. On Monday the state power company warned that reserves were dangerously low and urged people to switch off appliances, as usage reached a record.

The meteorological administration says relief is in sight starting Friday, with midday temperatures dropping to the customary August figure of 30C from the weekend.


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Kilika
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« Reply #37 on: August 09, 2012, 04:41:18 am »

We are having way above temps this week. Real hot for Phoenix area this time of year. 113-115, when it should be 105 on average.
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« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2012, 08:02:01 pm »

China National News (IANS) Tuesday 14th August, 2012

The armyworm outbreak in China's key grain producing areas has posed a major threat to the corn and rice crops this year, authorities said Tuesday.
 
The agriculture ministry has warned the local governments to heed to its pest control advice to ensure grain security, the China Daily reported.
 
"We haven't seen such a pest plague in so many places in almost a decade," a spokesman for the ministry's crop production department said.
 
To date, at least two million hectares of autumn crops nationwide have been affected.
 
The areas include Hebei, Jilin, Liaoning, Heilongjiang and Shanxi provinces, the Inner Mongolia region and Beijing and Tianjin municipalities.
 
The government will allocate 200 million yuan ($3.5 million) to fight the pests, the official added.

http://www.chinanationalnews.com/index.php?sid/208288214/scat/9366300fc9319e9b
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« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2012, 09:22:32 am »

http://www.cnbc.com/id/48669561

Food Price Shocks— Is Asia Bracing for an ‘Acute’ Jolt?

8/15/12

Since mid-June, grains, namely corn, soybeans and wheat have rallied 38 percent, 24 percent and 45 percent, respectively, after the worst U.S. drought in a half a century wiped out crops in the world’s biggest agricultural exporter. This prompted warnings from United Nations that the world could see a repeat of the food scare seen in 2008 as prices rose too rapidly, and officials from the Group of 20 countries to plan a meeting to discuss ways to cope with the price spikes.

While grain prices fell in New York on Tuesday because of rain across most of the Mid-West, prices will persist around current high levels, economists from Standard Chartered said in a report published this week. This is especially the case should high temperatures persist across much of the U.S. well into August, they said.

“If the price rises are sustained in the months ahead, we expect higher global food prices to affect Asia in early 2013, as our correlation analysis suggests a time lag of five to seven months for most Asian economies,” according Tai Hui, Head of Regional Research for Asia with Standard Chartered.

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« Reply #40 on: September 20, 2012, 09:50:49 am »

They also talk a bit about QE3 in this article, and for good reason.

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/early-2013-prepare-for-a-massive-food-price-surge-up-175-from-the-year-2000_09192012

Early 2013: Prepare For A Massive Food Price Surge; Up 175% from the Year 2000

9/19/12

The after-effects of 2012′s summer drought are far from over.
 
According to a new analysis from Rabobank this year’s crop failure and premature slaughtering of pigs, cattle and other staple meats will lead to an average 15% surge in food prices in 2013.
 
It may not sound like much, but when you combine this with monetary easing that threatens to rapidly depreciate the value of the dollar and an already indebted U.S. consumer, we can expect even more participants to enter government nutritional assistance programs.
 
It’s more expensive than ever before just to stay alive.
 

Quote
The record US, and global, summer drought has come and gone but its aftereffects are only now going to be felt, at least according to a new Rabobank report, which asserts that food prices are about to soar by 15% or more following mass slaughter of farm animals which will cripple supply once the current inventory of meat is exhausted.
 
From Sky News: “The worst drought in the US for almost a century, combined with droughts in South America and Russia, have hit the production of crops used in animal feed – such as corn and soybeans – especially hard, the report said. As a result farmers have begun slaughtering more pigs and cattle, temporarily increasing the meat supply – but causing a steep rise in the price of meat in the long-term as production slows.
 
“Farmers producing meat are simply not making enough money at the moment because of the high cost of feed,” Nick Higgins, commodity analyst at Rabobank, told Sky News. “As a result they will reduce their stock – both by slaughtering more animals and by not replacing them.” Somewhat ironically.
 
Food prices are now being kept at depressed prices as the “slaughtered” stock clears the market.
 
However once that is gone look for various food-related prices to soar: a process which will likely take place in early 2013, just in time to add to the shock from the Fiscal Cliff, which even assuming a compromise, will detract from the spending capacity of US (and by implication global) consumers.
 

The “mass liquidation” of animals – which Rabobank said will pick up pace in the beginning of 2013 – will contribute to food prices hitting new highs.
 
The cost of pork is expected to rise at the fastest pace - by 31% by the end of June next year – while beef costs could increase by up to 8%.
 
“This record cost of meat and dairy will combine with already-high crop prices to increase food prices by 15% by the middle of next year,” Mr Higgins added.
 
This would see food prices reach their highest level on record, up by 175% compared to the year 2000.
 
But the report stressed that the current situation is very different to the crisis of 2008 – in which food stables of the world’s developing economies, like wheat and rice, were severely affected.
 
The bank’s research follows official figures that showed inflation had slipped back to 2.5% in the UK – closer to the Bank of England’s inflation target of 2%
 
But Mr Higgins warned that next year’s food price rise could push inflation in the UK higher, and so further away from the Bank’s target.
 
Via Zero Hedge

But inflation is only at 2% according to the CPI.
 
Ben Bernanke and his helicopter air force have everything under control, just like they said they would.
 
That 15% in food price increases doesn’t even include the new money that is sure to hit the system now that some $80 billion a month is being committed to maintaining the illusion of economic stability and recovery.
 
All the while American consumers, who assume everything is as it has always been, are going to be paying 175% more for food by summer of next year than they were paying in the year 2000.
 
The only investment strategy available to ensure that you don’t run out of affordable food as the US dollar loses value and climate effects deplete available food stores is to invest in hard assets today.
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« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2012, 10:36:28 am »

http://beta.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/09/21/midwest-drought-belt-a-changed-world-emerges/1584315/

9/21/12

Midwest drought: A changed world emerges

How drought damages homes' foundations
Many homeowners know the drought can affect buildings, but sometimes they're shocked at how much it can damage foundations, basements and walls.


10:35AM EST September 21. 2012 - At first glance, it looks like a typical fall across the Midwest.

It's not.

Beneath green pastures and lawns brought to life by August rains, the earth is still desiccated. On closer inspection, the brown corn stalks are half as tall as they should be and the husks contain stunted ears — or nothing at all.

The drought of 2012 isn't just a rural tragedy. Barges plying the Ohio and Mississippi rivers carry less cargo to avoid running aground in low water.

Homeowners far from farmland are paying for expensive repairs to basements and foundations separated from the shrinking soil around them. Businesses that depend on water -- a canoe rental company, a campground that counts on its well-stocked fishing pond to attract visitors -- feel the economic pain, too.

"The drought is not over by any means," says Josh Sittler, battalion chief for the Honey Creek Township Fire Department in western Indiana. Fall brings new worries: brush fires and fires caused by dry plant dust jamming the engines of farmers' combines.

The northern Great Plains and Upper Midwest remain "drought- stricken," meteorologist David Simeral of the Western Regional Climate Center notes. All of nine states -- Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri -- can't shake the drought.

The scorching of the central USA is one of the nation's worst in decades: Almost 65% of the nation is enduring drought conditions, Thursday's Drought Monitor reported. That's the highest percentage since the government website began recording conditions in 2000. Purdue economist Chris Hurt pegged the cost at $77 billion, which would make it the third-costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and another devastating drought in 1988.

Americans in the stricken states and well beyond them are feeling the pain, as the prices of food, gas, retail goods and utilities have all ticked up.

The extreme drought has been exacerbated by near-record heat: The summer of 2012 was the third-hottest in U.S. weather history, and July was the hottest month the nation has ever recorded.

The dominant mood in four drought belt states visited this week by USA TODAY was resignation tempered by hope that next year will be better. And the deadpan humor that's part of the Midwestern ethos is intact: Paul Staley, a farmer in Paris, Ill., jokes that at least "the well didn't go dry until the hurricane hit" — a reference to the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac that brought some rain earlier this month.

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« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2012, 10:36:59 am »

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57519703/global-bacon-shortage-unavoidable-group-says/

September 25, 2012 10:50 AM 
Global bacon shortage "unavoidable," group says

(CBS News) BLTs next year might have to forego the B, according to a British trade group.

Britain's National Pig Association, "the voice of the British pig industry," warned recently that a global shortage of bacon and pork "is now unavoidable" because of shrinking herds.

The trade group reported Thursday that annual pig production for Europe's main pig producers fell across the board between 2011 and 2012, a trend that "is being mirrored around the world." The group tied the decline to increased feed costs, an effect of poor harvests for corn and soybeans.

Even though the pig association issued its dire prediction as part of a campaign to get British supermarkets to pay pig farmers more for their products, the possibility of a pork shortage received plenty of coverage in American news outlets.

But the projected decline isn't news to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In its monthly outlook report (PDF) from August, the department linked a reduction next year in the United States to this year's drought in the Midwest. The government expects corn and soybean meal prices to go up and hog producers to cut production in an attempt to control losses in their operating costs.

Considering those factors, the USDA forecasted next year's pork production at 23 billion pounds, a decrease of about 1.3 percent from this year's estimated total. That breaks down to Americans consuming slightly more than 45 pounds of pork per capita in 2013, a reduction of more than 1 percent from this year's estimates.

The decline in production could be worse in Europe. On Wednesday, British Pig Executive Mick Sloyan told European retailers that pork losses could be as high 10 percent in the latter half of 2013, which could double pork prices, according to the U.K. pig association.
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« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2012, 01:27:50 pm »

A hog trader on the local news said there would be no shortage in the US. More economic fearmongering.
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« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2012, 08:51:34 pm »

A hog trader on the local news said there would be no shortage in the US. More economic fearmongering.

Yep - and "No bacon shortage" is a Top 10 tracker on Yahoo.

http://lifeinc.today.com/_news/2012/09/27/14123841-hogwash-bacon-shortage-is-a-load-of-bull?lite

Hogwash! 'Bacon shortage' is a load of bull

By Ben Popken, NBC News contributor

Don't worry, no one is coming for your BLT.

Even though headlines for the past couple of days screamed, “Bacon shortage!” (including one of our own) and social media blew up with jokes about the impending “porkocalypse,” it's all a lot of oinking over nothing.

The summer drought, and rising corn prices have hurt hog farmers for sure. Soy, a component of hog meal, is also costing more, driven by ravenous demand by China. But all that will only lead to bacon being temporarily more expensive, not an outright “shortage.”

“It's a challenging time because of drought for both consumers and producers and food costs will rise,” Cindy Cunningham of the National Pork Board told NBC News, but we're “not going to see people in line for bacon... there will be no bacon rationing.”

Let's look at some basic economics.

First, as long as prices are allowed to rise and fall freely, there can be no shortage. Shortages only occur when the government fixes prices and consumers want more supply than exists. That results in rationing. There's zero evidence to suggest the government would do that, or that there would be any “runs on the pork bank.”

“As long as prices roam free, there's never a shortage or a glut,” said Bob Brown, an independent meat market analyst in Edmond, Okla. “It will find a way to clear the market.”

The only sign of a pork shortage is a press release from Britain's National Pig Association proclaiming, “A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable.”

But let's put on our critical reading glasses. The rest of the notice points to declining sow herds in the EU and asks British supermarkets to pay higher prices to pig farmers. It asks for shoppers to only buy British-made pork to protect British farmers, identifiable by the “Red Tractor” symbol on the package as part of a “Save our Bacon” campaign.

"British supermarkets know they have to raise the price they pay Britain's pig farmers or risk empty spaces on their shelves next year," said NPA chairman Richard Longthorp in the press release. "But competition is so fierce in the high street at present, each is waiting for the other to move first."

Get it? This is an attempt by British pig producers to build grassroots support among British shoppers to apply pressure to supermarkets. Their tool for propping up prices is fear, wrapped in bacon, wrapped in the Union Jack. It's pork propaganda.

The release also warned that prices could rise as much as 10 percent. The USDA has forecast only a 2.5-3.5 percent increase.

So hold your horses, bacon lovers, there's no need to buy a deep freezer and fill it with all the bacon you can get your hands on. The green number on the LCD screen at checkout might be slightly higher than what you're used to, but there's no bacon crisis.

“Bacon prices in the next few months should be quite stable as there is a steady supply of pork going to market and in cold storage,” said Matt Swantek, Swine Field Specialist at Iowa State University.
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« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2012, 01:35:11 pm »

Drought worsens in some key Midwest farming states

http://news.yahoo.com/drought-worsens-key-midwest-farming-states-133646356.html

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's worst drought in decades is showing no sign of letting up in several key Midwest farming states, worrying farmers harvesting the summer's withered corn crop in record time that their winter crops may also be at risk.

Overall drought conditions in the lower 48 states held steady over the seven-day period ending Tuesday, with about one-fifth of the total land area in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst classifications, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor's weekly update of its drought map released Thursday.

Conditions worsened, though, in Kansas and Iowa, the nation's biggest corn producer, and nearly 98 percent of Nebraska was still deemed to be in one of the two worst categories.

The unrelenting dryness won't have much effect on the region's corn and soybean crops, which are already being plucked from the fields. But it could hurt other crops, such as winter wheat.

According to the map, which is put out by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, 75 percent of Iowa is enduring extreme or exceptional drought. That's up roughly 10 percentage points from the previous week.

Just over 93.25 percent of Kansas was in the same predicament, which was an increase of roughly 5 percentage points.

As of Monday, 54 percent of the corn crop had been brought in from the fields — the fastest pace in at least 17 years due to early planting and nearly three times the previous five-year average of 20 percent by this time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported. Some 56 percent of the corn crop in Iowa has been harvested, while Illinois has brought in 71 percent and Missouri 88 percent.

Half of the U.S. corn crop is classified as being in poor or very poor shape, essentially unchanged from a week earlier, the USDA said. A year ago, 20 percent of corn in the fields was listed that way.

Forty-one percent of the U.S. soybean crops have been harvested — double the pace of the average of the previous half decade — with one-third considered poor or very poor, the USDA said.

The USDA reported Monday that emergence of winter wheat was lagging, given the extremely dry conditions that could keep that rotational crop from properly germinating. Just five percent of that crop had emerged in South Dakota, down sharply from 32 percent over the previous five years. Similar issues were reported in Nebraska, Colorado, Montana and Oregon.
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« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2012, 01:44:40 pm »

^^

By any chance, did anyone go to the link of this news article and read the comments at the bottom by the readers?

Just WOW...seriously, this drought is REAL, but somehow they act like this is "manufactured" by the news and these farmers are doing nothing but whining and complaining.
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« Reply #47 on: October 06, 2012, 08:27:05 pm »

WORLD ECONOMY - World Food Prices Rose 1.4% In Sept. - Europe - U.S. - Fraud - Oil - Einhorn vs Taco Bell - Zynga/Facebook - Inida Freak Orders - China - Gold : Youri Carma
7 October 2012
, by Youri Carma (Max Keiser)


WORLD ECONOMY:
- World food prices rose 1.4% in Sept.
- IMF lowers economic outlook for Germany
- Leading institutes cut euro-zone growth forecast
- Euro-zone manufacturing PMI confirms contraction
- Euro-zone jobless rate hit record highs
- Spain jobless claims rise
- US jobless claims rise
- High California gas prices start to take a toll
- US Factory orders slump 5.2% in August
- Japan big manufacturers' sentiment worsens
- South Korea factory slump deepens


WORLD ECONOMY:
- EUROPE
- GREECE
- U.S.
- ONLY FOR WEALTHY HOME BUYERS
- FRAUD
- OIL
- GOVERNMENT PACTS
- QEIII
- EINHORN vs TACO BELL
- ZYNGA - FACEBOOK
- HP
- PIMCO
- INDIA FREAK ORDERS
- CHINA
- JAPAN
- SOUTH KOREA
- AUSTRALIA
- GOLD
- PLATINUM
- IRON
- MONSANTO
- MISCELLANEOUS


WORLD ECONOMY

World food prices rose 1.4% in Sept. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/world-food-prices-rose-14-in-sept-2012-10-04

S&P keeps negative outlook on Argentina's ratings http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-keeps-negative-outlook-on-argentinas-ratings-2012-10-01

EUROPE

IMF lowers economic outlook for Germany http://www.marketwatch.com/story/imf-lowers-economic-outlook-for-germany-2012-10-05

Euro-zone PMI points to 'inevitable' recession http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-zone-pmi-points-to-inevitable-recession-2012-10-03

Euro-zone manufacturing PMI confirms contraction http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-zone-manufacturing-pmi-confirms-contraction-2012-10-01

Leading institutes cut euro-zone growth forecast http://www.marketwatch.com/story/leading-institutes-cut-euro-zone-growth-forecast-2012-10-05

Sorry, Portugal, no OMT for you … yet http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/04/sorry-portugal-no-omt-for-you-yet/

Santander may sell loans to B. of A. Merrill Lynch http://www.marketwatch.com/story/santander-may-sell-loans-to-b-of-a-merrill-lynch-2012-10-04

Spain's Banco Popular hires banks to raise capital http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spains-banco-popular-hires-banks-to-raise-capital-2012-10-04

EU doubts Spain's 2013 deficit target: report http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eu-doubts-spains-2013-deficit-target-report-2012-10-04

Spain ready for bailout, Germany objects: report http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spain-ready-for-bailout-germany-objects-report-2012-10-02

Spain jobless claims rise 1.7% in September http://www.marketwatch.com/story/spain-jobless-claims-rise-17-in-september-2012-10-02

Euro-zone jobless rate hit record highs http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-zone-jobless-rate-hit-record-highs-2012-10-01-54853923

Moody's: Spain bank plan my be 'insufficient' http://www.marketwatch.com/story/moodys-spain-bank-plan-my-be-insufficent-2012-10-01

ECB: Banks Friday borrowed more cash overnight http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ecb-banks-friday-borrowed-more-cash-overnight-2012-10-01

U.K. Sept. manufacturing PMI falls to 48.4 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-sept-manufacturing-pmi-falls-to-484-2012-10-01

Nearly all EU nuclear plants need upgrades: report http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nearly-all-eu-nuclear-plants-need-upgrades-report-2012-10-01

Coeure: ECB must be open to rule changes http://www.marketwatch.com/story/coeure-ecb-must-be-open-to-rule-changes-2012-10-01

ECB: Banks Friday borrowed more cash overnight http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ecb-banks-friday-borrowed-more-cash-overnight-2012-10-01

French car registrations plunge 18% http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-car-registrations-plunge-18-2012-10-01

French car registrations plunge in September http://www.marketwatch.com/story/french-car-registrations-plunge-in-september-2012-10-01

U.K. Sept. manufacturing PMI falls to 48.4 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-sept-manufacturing-pmi-falls-to-484-2012-10-01

GREECE

National Bank of Greece outlines bid for Eurobank http://www.marketwatch.com/story/national-bank-of-greece-outlines-bid-for-eurobank-2012-10-05

National Bank of Greece in merger talks: reports http://www.marketwatch.com/story/national-bank-of-greece-in-merger-talks-reports-2012-10-05

EU OKs Greek plan to extend OPAP exclusive rights http://www.marketwatch.com/story/eu-oks-greek-plan-to-extend-opap-exclusive-rights-2012-10-03

U.S.

Southwest Airlines traffic falls 2.1% in September http://www.marketwatch.com/story/southwest-airlines-traffic-falls-21-in-september-2012-10-05-94851823

September sales raise red flags for holidays http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retailers-september-miss-raises-holiday-concern-2012-10-04

Factory orders slump 5.2% in August http://www.marketwatch.com/story/factory-orders-slump-52-in-august-2012-10-04

Mortgage rates at record lows as 30-year at 3.36% http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mortgage-rates-at-record-lows-as-30-year-at-336-2012-10-04

Consumer loan delinquencies up in eight categories http://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumer-loan-delinquencies-up-in-eight-categories-2012-10-04

U.S. initial jobless claims climb to 367,000 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-initial-jobless-claims-climb-to-367000-2012-10-04

Weekly jobless claims rise to 367,000 from 363,000 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/weekly-jobless-claims-rise-to-367000-from-363000-2012-10-04

Sept. planned layoffs up nearly 5%: Challenger http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sept-planned-layoffs-up-nearly-5-challenger-2012-10-04

Treasury yields near lowest in a month http://www.marketwatch.com/story/treasury-yields-near-lowest-in-a-month-2012-10-03

Fiscal cliff is bad for the dollar: survey http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/03/fiscal-cliff-is-bad-for-the-dollar-survey/

Fitch: Credit-card asset-backed securities climb http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fitch-credit-card-asset-backed-securities-climb-2012-10-03

Bullish sentiment fell last week: survey http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bullish-sentiment-fell-last-week-survey-2012-10-03

Where downtown housing is hot, and where it’s not http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-downtown-housing-is-hot-and-where-its-not-2012-10-02

Where downtown housing is hot, and where it’s not http://www.marketwatch.com/story/where-downtown-housing-is-hot-and-where-its-not-2012-10-02-131034829

Truecar: U.S. car prices largely flat in Sept. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/truecar-us-car-prices-largely-flat-in-sept-2012-10-02

Delta traffic fell 1.1% in September http://www.marketwatch.com/story/delta-traffic-fell-11-in-september-2012-10-02

Express cuts Q3 view on customer-traffic change http://www.marketwatch.com/story/express-cuts-q3-view-on-customer-traffic-change-2012-10-02

Duke nuclear plant costs could top $3 bln: study http://www.marketwatch.com/story/duke-nuclear-plant-costs-could-top-3-bln-study-2012-10-02

St. Louis Fed maps 460 bank failures since 2007 http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/01/st-louis-fed-maps-460-bank-failures-since-2007/

U.S. August construction spending down 0.6% http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-august-construction-spending-down-06-2012-10-01

ONLY FOR WEALTHY HOME BUYERS

Banks pump up perks to lure wealthy home buyers http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lenders-dangle-discounts-to-woo-top-customers-2012-10-05

Retailer Gigante to invest in real-estate projects http://www.marketwatch.com/story/retailer-gigante-to-invest-in-real-estate-projects-2012-10-02

WSJ launches new luxury real-estate section http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wsj-launches-new-luxury-real-estate-section-2012-10-02

FRAUD

Cooking the books? See the charts on jobs report http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cooking-the-books-see-the-charts-on-jobs-report-2012-10-05

SEC ad rule would favor hedge funds over mutuals http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hedge-funds-could-make-bold-ad-claims-2012-10-04

Lehman trustee, Swiss unit settle $6 bln dispute http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lehman-trustee-swiss-unit-settle-6-bln-dispute-2012-10-04

IRS awards $2 million to tax informant http://www.marketwatch.com/story/irs-awards-2-million-to-tax-informant-2012-10-04

Kraft erroneous trades cancelled using post flash-crash rule http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/03/kraft-erroneous-trades-cancelled-using-post-flash-crash-rule/

Arqule trips short-selling circuit breaker http://www.marketwatch.com/story/arqule-trips-short-selling-circuit-breaker-2012-10-02

Panel at SEC backs high-speed trading kill switch http://www.marketwatch.com/story/panel-at-sec-backs-high-speed-trading-kill-switch-2012-10-02

Feds charge 91 with scamming Medicare for $430 mln http://www.marketwatch.com/story/feds-charge-91-with-scamming-medicare-for-430-mln-2012-10-04

Big Pharma to benefit from growth in diabetes: S&P http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/04/big-pharma-to-benefit-from-growth-in-diabetes-sp/

SEC fines Boston-based ‘dark pool’ $800,000 http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sec-fines-boston-based-dark-pool-800000-2012-10-03-131033042

Software company CEO charged in fraud scheme http://www.marketwatch.com/story/software-company-ceo-charged-in-fraud-scheme-2012-10-03

Madoff Ponzi scheme's final days detailed in indictment http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/02/madoff-ponzi-schemes-final-days-detailed-in-indictment/

Madoff scheme reportedly started in early 1970's http://www.marketwatch.com/story/madoff-scheme-reportedly-started-in-early-1970s-2012-10-01

J.P. Morgan sued over mortgage securities: WSJ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-morgan-sued-over-mortgage-securities-wsj-2012-10-01

N.Y. AG sues J.P. Morgan over mortgage securities http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ny-ag-sues-jp-morgan-over-mortgage-securities-2012-10-01

In J.P. Morgan suit, timing is everything http://www.marketwatch.com/story/in-jp-morgan-suit-timing-is-everything-2012-10-02

Credit Suisse changes stock-rating methodology http://www.marketwatch.com/story/credit-suisse-changes-stock-rating-methodology-2012-10-02

Vanguard to change benchmarks for 22 index funds http://www.marketwatch.com/story/vanguard-to-change-benchmarks-for-22-index-funds-2012-10-02

AmEx to pay $113 mln for ‘illegal’ practices: U.S. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amex-to-pay-113-mln-for-illegal-practices-us-2012-10-01

Supreme Court won't hear body-scanner appeal http://www.marketwatch.com/story/supreme-court-wont-hear-body-scanner-appeal-2012-10-01

Bunge suspended from key grain-trader registry http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bunge-suspended-from-key-grain-trader-registry-2012-10-01

TSE, OSE to combine derivatives trade settlements http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tse-ose-to-combine-derivatives-trade-settlements-2012-09-30

Zillow shares fall amid SEC inquiry http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zillow-shares-fall-amid-sec-inquiry-2012-10-02

OIL

High California gas prices start to take a toll http://www.marketwatch.com/story/high-california-gas-prices-start-to-take-a-toll-2012-10-06

No relief soon for California gasoline prices http://www.marketwatch.com/story/no-relief-soon-for-california-gasoline-prices-2012-10-06

Exxon refinery in California resumes operations http://www.marketwatch.com/story/exxon-refinery-in-california-resumes-operations-2012-10-05

California gasoline prices top $4.50 a gallon; Phillips 66 shares up http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/05/california-gasoline-prices-top-4-50-a-gallon-phillips-66-shares-up/

Murphy Oil price hiked on Third Point action http://www.marketwatch.com/story/murphy-oil-price-hiked-on-third-point-action-2012-10-05

California gasoline prices soar amid supply crunch http://www.marketwatch.com/story/california-gasoline-prices-soar-amid-supply-crunch-2012-10-04-234854953

Bakken crude prices rise as railroad reach grows http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bakken-crude-prices-rise-as-railroad-reach-grows-2012-10-04-14485240

Natural gas turns lower after EIA supply data http://www.marketwatch.com/story/natural-gas-turns-lower-after-eia-supply-data-2012-10-04

Atlantic Coal more than doubles Q3 coal production http://www.marketwatch.com/story/atlantic-coal-more-than-doubles-q3-coal-production-2012-10-04

Crude inventories dropped 482,000 bbls last week http://www.marketwatch.com/story/crude-inventories-dropped-482000-bbls-last-week-2012-10-03

Marathon Oil announces entry into Ethiopia http://www.marketwatch.com/story/marathon-oil-announces-entry-into-ethiopia-2012-10-03-104852417

Oil supplies rise less than expected: API http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-supplies-rise-less-than-expected-api-2012-10-02

Deutsche Bank lifts Brent-crude view due to supply http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deutsche-bank-lifts-brent-crude-view-due-to-supply-2012-10-02

Goldman says gasoline price spikes tied to euro crisis; Morgan Stanley sees headwinds for crude http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/02/goldman-says-gasoline-price-spikes-tied-to-euro-crisis-morgan-stanley-sees-headwinds-for-crude/

Retail gas prices hit daily records for six-straight weeks: AAA http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/01/retail-gas-prices-hit-daily-records-for-six-straight-weeks-aaa/

Shell shuts key Nigeria oil pipeline due to fire http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shell-shuts-key-nigeria-oil-pipeline-due-to-fire-2012-09-30-214852419

GOVERNMENT PACTS

Alstom gets 25-year railway contract in Kazakhstan http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alstom-gets-25-year-railway-contract-in-kazakhstan-2012-10-03-44855942

ABB gets $115M order to improve Saudi rail network http://www.marketwatch.com/story/abb-gets-115m-order-to-improve-saudi-rail-network-2012-10-03

1Spatial gets 5-year U.S. government pact http://www.marketwatch.com/story/1spatial-gets-5-year-us-government-pact-2012-10-03

Alliance wins approval for Bakken pipeline http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alliance-wins-approval-for-bakken-pipeline-2012-10-01

QEIII

QE3 was a sign of failure http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qe3-was-a-sign-of-failure-2012-10-04

QE’s biggest problem? Destruction of savings http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qes-biggest-problem-destruction-of-savings-2012-10-03-81031426

Australia surprises with another rate cut http://www.marketwatch.com/story/australia-surprises-with-another-rate-cut-2012-10-02

Australia surprises with 0.25 point rate cut http://www.marketwatch.com/story/australia-surprises-with-025-point-rate-cut-2012-10-02

Bank Of Queensland cuts home loan rate http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-queensland-cuts-home-loan-rate-2012-10-02

Which central bank is the next to surprise? http://www.marketwatch.com/story/central-banks-to-watch-this-week-2012-10-02

The markets are the message for inflation http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-markets-are-the-message-for-inflation-2012-10-02

Bank of Mexico survey highlights inflation worries http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-mexico-survey-highlights-inflation-worries-2012-10-01

EINHORN vs TACO BELL

Chipotle: Taco Bell's new menu not hurting sales http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotle-taco-bells-new-menu-not-hurting-sales-2012-10-02

Einhorn short-orders Chipotle on Taco Bell’s rise http://www.marketwatch.com/story/einhorn-short-orders-chipotle-on-taco-bells-rise-2012-10-02

Einhorn's Chipotle-vs.-Taco Bell comment draws sharp responses http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/02/einhorn-comments-on-chipotle-vs-taco-bell-draw-sharp-responses/

Einhorn to speak Tuesday: get your short orders ready http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/02/einhorn-to-speak-tuesday-get-your-short-orders-ready/

Einhorn: Chipotle faces challenges from Taco Bell http://www.marketwatch.com/story/einhorn-chipotle-faces-challenges-from-taco-bell-2012-10-02

ZYNGA - FACEBOOK

Social-media shares' paper losses in the billions http://www.marketwatch.com/story/social-media-shares-paper-losses-in-the-billions-2012-10-06

Zynga falls after hours, extending dayside loss http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-falls-after-hours-extending-dayside-loss-2012-10-05

Zynga, Facebook weigh down techs http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-facebook-slide-tech-stocks-rally-2012-10-05

Zynga in a pinch as Facebook gaming shifts http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-in-a-pinch-as-facebook-gaming-shifts-2012-10-05

Zynga's game business now valued at zero by investors http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/05/zyngas-game-business-now-valued-at-zero-by-investors/

Zynga downgraded by Baird to neutral http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-downgraded-by-baird-to-neutral-2012-10-05

Zynga still falling — without a fall guy http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-still-falling-without-a-fall-guy-2012-10-04

Zynga shares tumble after hours following outlook http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-shares-tumbles-after-hours-following-outlook-2012-10-04

Zynga crashes after cutting outlook http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-crashes-after-cutting-outlook-2012-10-04

Zynga cuts outlook; writes down acquisition http://www.marketwatch.com/story/zynga-cuts-outlook-writes-down-acquisition-2012-10-04

Facebook seeks to halve size of credit line: WSJ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-seeks-to-halve-size-of-credit-line-wsj-2012-10-05

J.P. Morgan cuts view for Facebook's Payments unit http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-morgan-cuts-view-for-facebooks-payments-unit-2012-10-05

HP

Moody's puts H-P on review for downgrade http://www.marketwatch.com/story/moodys-puts-h-p-on-review-for-downgrade-2012-10-04-194855531

H-P tanks as Whitman sees more pain ahead http://www.marketwatch.com/story/h-p-falls-7-as-whitman-points-to-tough-year-2012-10-03

IBM wins protest against H-P government contract http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ibm-wins-protest-against-h-p-government-contract-2012-10-03

PIMCO

Pimco's Bill Gross says he's buying peripheral European debt http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/05/pimcos-bill-gross-says-hes-buying-peripheral-european-debt/

Pimco's El-Erian says 'mini-bargain' could cut hit from fiscal cliff to 1.5% http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/01/pimcos-el-erian-says-mini-bargain-could-cut-hit-from-fiscal-cliff-to-1-5/

Bill Gross says only gold and real assets will thrive in fiscal 'ring of fire' http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/02/bill-gross-says-only-gold-and-real-assets-will-thrive-in-fiscal-ring-of-fire/

INDIA FREAK ORDERS

Abnormal orders disrupt trading for Mumbai stocks http://www.marketwatch.com/story/abnormal-orders-disrupt-trading-for-mumbai-stocks-2012-10-05

Trade resumes at India exchange after freak orders http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trade-resumes-at-india-bourse-after-freak-trades-2012-10-05

CHINA

Mitsubishi Motors: China auto sales drop 62.9% http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mitsubishi-motors-china-auto-sales-drop-629-2012-10-05

Fall in China sales a double-whammy for Japan auto makers http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/05/fall-in-china-sales-a-double-whammy-for-japan-auto-makers/

Nissan: Anti-Japanese sentiment hit China sales http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nissan-anti-japanese-sentiment-hit-china-sales-2012-10-05

Toyota plans big production cut in China: reports http://www.marketwatch.com/story/toyota-plans-big-production-cut-in-china-reports-2012-10-04

Deutsche Bank cuts Zhaojin rating, but ups target http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deutsche-bank-cuts-zhaojin-rating-but-ups-target-2012-10-04

Macau September gambling revenue up 12% on year http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macau-september-gambling-revenue-up-12-on-year-2012-10-04

China's services sector PMI cools in September http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-services-sector-pmi-cools-in-september-2012-10-03

China consumer sentiment slips in September http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-consumer-sentiment-slips-in-september-2012-10-03

ADB slashes Chinese, Indian, other Asian estimates http://www.marketwatch.com/story/adp-slashes-chinese-indian-other-asian-estimates-2012-10-02

China's workers are revolting http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chinas-workers-are-revolting-2012-10-01-54851123

China manufacturing contracts for second month http://www.marketwatch.com/story/china-official-pmi-shows-2nd-monthly-contraction-2012-10-01

JAPAN

Japan big manufacturers' sentiment worsens: Tankan http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-big-manufacturers-sentiment-worsens-tankan-2012-09-30

SOUTH KOREA

South Korea car sales remain weak despite tax cuts http://www.marketwatch.com/story/south-korea-car-sales-remain-weak-despite-tax-cuts-2012-10-04

South Korea factory slump deepens, data show http://www.marketwatch.com/story/south-korea-factory-slump-deepens-data-shows-2012-10-02

S. Korea Sept. exports drop 1.8% to $45.66 billion http://www.marketwatch.com/story/s-korea-sept-exports-drop-18-to-4566-billion-2012-09-30

AUSTRALIA

Australia's trade deficit widens in August http://www.marketwatch.com/story/australias-trade-deficit-widens-in-august-2012-10-02

GOLD

Union figure killed in South Africa mine violence http://www.marketwatch.com/story/union-figure-killed-in-south-africa-mine-violence-2012-10-06

Gold prices nearing $1,800 as ECB talk bond buys http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-prices-nearing-1800-as-ecb-talk-bond-buys-2012-10-04

Metalor mulling gold refinery in Singapore http://www.marketwatch.com/story/metalor-mulling-gold-refinery-in-singapore-2012-10-02

Deutsche Bank lifts 2013, 2014 gold-price outlook http://www.marketwatch.com/story/deutsche-bank-lifts-2013-2014-gold-price-outlook-2012-10-02

Bill Gross says only gold and real assets will thrive in fiscal 'ring of fire' http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/02/bill-gross-says-only-gold-and-real-assets-will-thrive-in-fiscal-ring-of-fire/

PLATINUM

Anglo American Platinum dismisses 12,000 Workers http://www.marketwatch.com/story/anglo-american-platinum-dismisses-12000-workers-2012-10-05

Platinum's a 'compelling' commodity: CitrinGroup http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/03/platinums-a-compelling-commodity-citringroup/

Boart ousts CEO as mining slowdown forces rethink http://www.marketwatch.com/story/boart-ousts-ceo-as-mining-slowdown-forces-rethink-2012-10-02

Anglo Platinum: Strike has spread to Limpopo mine http://www.marketwatch.com/story/anglo-platinum-strike-has-spread-to-limpopo-mine-2012-10-02

IRON

S&P: sees low iron ore prices near-term http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-sees-low-iron-ore-prices-near-term-2012-10-02

Morgan Stanley in commodities unit talks: reports http://www.marketwatch.com/story/morgan-stanley-in-commodities-unit-talks-reports-2012-10-04

CME trading volume slumps in Sept. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/cme-trading-volume-slumps-in-sept-2012-10-02

MONSANTO

Monsanto's loss widens on lower seed sales http://www.marketwatch.com/story/monsantos-loss-widens-on-lower-seed-sales-2012-10-03

Monsanto loss widens, shares fall in premarket http://www.marketwatch.com/story/monsanto-loss-widens-shares-fall-in-premarket-2012-10-03

MISCELLANEOUS

J.P. Morgan regulatory boss Zubrow retiring http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-morgan-regulatory-boss-zubrow-retiring-2012-10-05

Swiss Re's chief investment officer to leave http://www.marketwatch.com/story/swiss-res-chief-investment-officer-to-leave-2012-10-05

The hedge fund industry’s man in North Carolina http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-hedge-fund-industrys-man-in-north-carolina-2012-10-05

Brace for worst earnings since recession’s rebound http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-for-bleak-earnings-likely-surprise-2012-10-05

Brazil sells equivalent of $1.29B in reverse swaps http://www.marketwatch.com/story/brazil-sells-equivalent-of-129b-in-reverse-swaps-2012-10-05

Stocks should rise in 4th quarter if history holds http://www.marketwatch.com/story/stocks-should-rise-in-4th-quarter-if-history-holds-2012-10-04-1710307

DOJ seeks debit-card market data from Discover http://www.marketwatch.com/story/doj-seeks-debit-card-market-data-from-discover-2012-10-04

Weak global growth exacerbates currency tensions http://www.marketwatch.com/story/weak-global-growth-exacerbates-currency-tensions-2012-10-03-111032156

Why the Iranian currency's latest moves matter http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/04/why-the-iranian-currencys-latest-moves-matter/

Iran rial sinks on sanctions, down 80% over year http://www.marketwatch.com/story/iran-rial-sinks-on-sanctions-down-80-over-year-2012-10-02

Sberbank may need new capital within two years http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sberbank-may-need-new-capital-within-two-years-2012-10-02

Get ready for a roller-coaster ride http://www.marketwatch.com/story/get-ready-for-a-roller-coaster-ride-2012-10-02

Acuity quarterly profit slides 2.6% on charges http://www.marketwatch.com/story/acuity-quarterly-profit-slides-26-on-charges-2012-10-02

Taiwan to join U.S. visa-waiver program http://www.marketwatch.com/story/taiwan-to-join-us-visa-waiver-program-2012-10-02

Scotch whisky exports continue to surge http://www.marketwatch.com/story/scotch-whisky-exports-continue-to-surge-2012-10-02

Bond fund managers favor corporate debt http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bond-fund-managers-favor-corporate-debt-2012-10-01

Corporate bond sales set records in September; yields plunge http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/09/28/corporate-bond-sales-set-records-in-september-yields-plunge/

Investors shifting to municipal bonds as a safe haven: U.S. Bank http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2012/10/01/investors-shifting-to-municipal-bonds-as-a-safe-haven-u-s-bank/
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« Reply #48 on: October 15, 2012, 12:07:58 pm »

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/world-matched-record-hottest-september-17481852

[size=18]World Matched Record for Hottest September[/size]

10/15/12

The globe last month matched a record for the hottest September.
 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday that September was 60.2 degrees Fahrenheit worldwide, which is 1.2 degrees above normal. That matches 2005 for the hottest September. Records go back to 1880.
 
For most of the year, world temperatures were warmer than normal, but not near record levels. At the same time, the United States kept setting heat records. But that reversed in September. It was a record hot month for the world, but the United States ranked as only the 23rd hottest. Climate monitoring chief Deke Arndt (AHR'nt) said the highest heat was in South America, Japan, Russia, Canada and the Atlantic.
 
This is the 331st consecutive month with global temperatures above the 20th century average.
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« Reply #49 on: November 21, 2012, 09:37:51 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/us-drought-worsens-weeks-improvement-164724509--finance.html

US drought worsens after weeks of improvement
By JIM SUHR | Associated Press – 3 hrs ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The worst U.S. drought in decades has deepened again after more than a month of encouraging reports of slowly improving conditions, a drought-tracking consortium said Wednesday, as scientists struggled for an explanation other than a simple lack of rain.

While more than half of the continental U.S. has been in a drought since summer, rain storms had appeared to be easing the situation week by week since late September. But that promising run ended with Wednesday's weekly U.S. Drought Monitor report, which showed increases in the portion of the country in drought and the severity of it.

The report showed that 60.1 percent of the lower 48 states were in some form of drought as of Tuesday, up from 58.8 percent the previous week. The amount of land in extreme or exceptional drought — the two worst classifications — increased from 18.3 percent to 19.04 percent.

The Drought Monitor's map tells the story, with dark red blotches covering the center of the nation and portions of Texas and the Southeast as an indication of where conditions are the most intense. Those areas are surrounded by others in lesser stages of drought, with only the Northwest, Florida and a narrow band from New England south to Mississippi escaping.

A federal meteorologist cautioned that Wednesday's numbers shouldn't be alarming, saying that while drought usually subsides heading into winter, the Drought Monitor report merely reflects a week without rain in a large chunk of the country.

"The places that are getting precipitation, like the Pacific Northwest, are not in drought, while areas that need the rainfall to end the drought aren't getting it," added Richard Heim, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center. "I would expect the drought area to expand again" by next week since little rain is forecast in the Midwest in coming days.

He said there was no clear, scientific explanation for why the drought was lingering or estimate for how long it would last.

"What's driving the weather? It's kind of a car with no one at the steering wheel," Heim said. "None of the atmospheric indicators are really strong. A lot of them are tickling around the edges and fighting about who wants to be king of the hill, but none of them are dominant."

The biggest area of exceptional drought, the most severe of the five categories listed by the Drought Monitor, centers over the Great Plains. Virtually all of Nebraska is in a deep drought, with more than three-fourths in the worst stage. But Nebraska, along with the Dakotas to the north, could still see things get worse "in the near future," the USDA's Eric Luebehusen wrote in Wednesday's update.

The drought also has been intensifying in Kansas, the top U.S. producer of winter wheat. It also is entirely covered by drought, and the area in the worst stage rose nearly 4 percentage points to 34.5 percent as of Tuesday. Much of that increase was in southern Kansas, where rainfall has been 25 percent of normal over the past half year.

After a summer in which farmers watched helpless as their corn dried up in the heat and their soybeans became stunted, many are now worrying about their winter wheat.

It has come up at a rate on par with non-drought years, but the quality of the drop doesn't look good, according to the USDA. Nearly one-quarter of the winter wheat that germinated is in poor or very poor condition, an increase of 2 percentage points from the previous week and 9 percentage points worse than the same time in 2011. Forty-two percent of the plantings are described as in fair shape, the same as last week.

Farmers who might normally irrigate in such circumstances worry about low water levels in the rivers and reservoirs they use, and many are hoping for snow to ease the situation. But it would take a lot. About 20 inches of snow equals just an inch of actual water, and many areas have rain deficits of a foot or more.
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« Reply #50 on: December 01, 2012, 11:00:02 am »

11/28/12

Mississippi River could become impassable in two weeks

Scott Wuerz | Belleville News-Democrat

The Mississippi River could be too shallow for barge traffic between St. Louis and Cairo in two weeks due to decreasing water levels.

According to the American Waterways Operators and Waterways Council, the country's busiest inland waterway is nearly too low already for barges loaded with coal, steel and other commerce.

And it is expected to dry up considerably in the next couple of week due to the summer drought and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's move to hold back water from the Missouri River.

"Of particular concern are hazardous rock formations near Thebes and Grand Tower which threaten navigation when water levels drop to anticipated, near historic lows," the agencies said in a joint release. "The rock formations, combined with the reduced flows from the Missouri River, will prohibit the transport of essential goods along this critical point in the river, effectively stopping barge transportation on the middle Mississippi River around Dec. 10."

U.S Coast Guard Lt. Colin Fogarty said the river is about two feet below normal water levels. He expects it to threaten the all-time low of 6.2 feet below normal in December. The previous low water mark was set in 1940.The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a controversial move, last week started to reduce to flow of water from the Missouri River into the Mississippi to make sure areas to the north have adequate water. "Congress and the Administration need to understand the immediate severity of this situation," American Waterways Operators President and CEO Tom Allegrett said. "The Mississippi River is an economic superhighway that efficiently carries hundreds of millions of tons of essential goods for domestic use as well as national export.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/11/28/175790/mississippi-river-could-become.html#emlnl=Daily_News_Update#storylink=cpy
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« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2012, 02:40:03 pm »

Can Congress Avert a Plunge Off the Dairy Cliff?
December 26, 2012   Farm Bill provisions have already expired, the lame duck is nearly at an end, and the holdup hasnt been worked out.
Expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill has milk producers and consumers alike approaching a dairy cliff.

Unlike the Bush tax cuts with a looming Jan. 1 deadline, some provisions for farmers and the agriculture industry have already expired
and dairy farmers will be among the first impacted, which some lawmakers are concerned could cause the price of milk to increase.

Many programs and policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture were authorized under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 through Sept. 30, 2012.

These include programs impacting millions of Americans, including programs for farm commodity and price support, conservation, research, nutrition, food safety and agricultural trade. As of today, USDA authority or funding to deliver many of these programs has expired, leaving USDA with far fewer tools to help strengthen American agriculture and grow a rural economy that supports 1 in 12 American jobs.

The Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program, a program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) that
compensates dairy producers when domestic milk prices fall below a specified level, is one of the already expired programs.
The ones who are more concerned since the Farm Bill lapsed at the end of September have been the dairy folks.

The new five-year bipartisan deal, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2012, that would prevent subsidies and agriculture policy from reverting to price controls set in the 1940s, however, cleared both the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee back in July.
http://pjmedia.com/blog/can-congress-avert-a-plunge-off-the-dairy-cliff


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« Reply #52 on: January 10, 2013, 01:09:56 pm »

Corn Supply Dropping Most Since 1995 Signals U.S. Rally
10 January 2013, by Jeff Wilson (Bloomberg)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-10/corn-supply-dropping-most-since-1995-signals-u-s-rally.html

Excerpt:

U.S. corn supplies, the world’s biggest, are dropping at the fastest pace in 17 years as drought damage exceeds government forecasts and five months of declining prices spur demand from livestock producers.

Inventories on Dec. 1% were 15% lower than a year earlier at 8.22 billion bushels (208.8 million metric tons), the smallest post-harvest stockpile since 2003, according to the average of 26 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Macquarie Group Ltd. expect prices to rebound at least 17% to $8.14 a bushel in 2013.

While futures surged to a record $8.49 in August as the drought spread, they then tumbled 18% as U.S. exports slowed and buyers sought cheaper supply from Brazil and Ukraine.

Prices will rebound because the government overestimated the harvest and probably will lower the figure when it reports tomorrow, the analysts said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture already expects global stockpiles on Oct. 1 to be the smallest relative to consumption since 1974.

“Consumers have become too complacent waiting for lower prices,” said Christopher Gadd, an analyst at Macquarie in London who expects prices to reach $8.50 this year.

“The story going forward will be an improvement in U.S. exports. Buyers have nowhere else to turn.”

Corn rose as much as 68% from June 15 to mid-August on the Chicago Board of Trade before retreating.

It ended the year up 8 percent, compared with a 0.3% gain in the Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities.

The MSCI All- Country World Index of equities jumped 13%.

A Bank of America Corp. index shows Treasuries returned 2.2%.
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« Reply #53 on: January 11, 2013, 10:40:49 pm »

USDA: Drought cut corn crop by about one-fourth

1/11/13

http://news.yahoo.com/usda-drought-cut-corn-crop-one-fourth-223439537--finance.html

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — For farmers like Earl Williams, last year couldn't have started out better or ended much worse as a warm, sunny spring that let him plant early gave way to record heat and drought that devastated his corn.
 
Williams ended up with about two-thirds of the crop he expected, and a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released Friday showed most corn farmers didn't fare much better. The final report on the 2012 growing season showed farmers harvested 10.78 billion bushels of corn, less than three-fourths of what the agency predicted last spring.
 
While the report covers many other crops, much of the attention has been on corn, which is widely used as an ingredient in many foods, provides feed for livestock and is mixed with gasoline as ethanol. The crop also was the hardest hit by the drought that settled in just as the plants were maturing.
 
Williams, 62, usually gets 150 to 160 bushels per acre on his 1,000-acre farm near Rockford in northern Illinois. Last year, he got about 100, and he's been looking at the sky ever since, hoping for heavy rain or snow to break the drought that still grips the region.
 
"I've yet to run into anyone around me that wasn't ready for 2013 to come," he said.
 
more
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« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2013, 10:38:35 pm »

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/poverty-rampant-in-quake-hit-christchurch-5328634

Poverty 'rampant' in quake hit Christchurch

1/29/13
Horror stories of Christchurch families living in garages and tents continue to surface almost two years on from the February 2011 earthquake.

Some families are still stranded in sheds or illegally overcrowding friends' and relatives' houses.

Meanwhile, rental housing prices show no sign of abating and welfare agencies believe this year could be worse than the last.

Demand on Christchurch's social services continues to increase: people who have never needed help before are queuing up at food banks and many families still face impoverished living conditions.

City Missioner Michael Gorman said the unprecedented demand on the mission's alcohol and drug services, foodbank and night shelters "has not eased at all".

"There is a lot more money going into rent and a lot less money going into living."

The number of people approaching the mission suffering from poverty or mental health issues was rampant, he said.

One of his social workers had a week-long waiting list of families needing assistance with school uniform grants. Another had recently been supporting a young family living in a tent, and a couple renting a washhouse.

A desperate woman with a newborn baby emailed Gorman last week asking for any free food because she said she was "paying so much rent, I can't afford to live".

"We are seeing many, many new people. Some who may actually own property but are so stretched by having to be out of their houses and pay horrific rents," he said.

Pacific Island Evaluation social worker To'alepai Louella Thomsen-Inder said she was growing tired of "fighting day and night" for her clients.

Before Christmas she dropped food parcels off to 10 struggling families and said she could "smell the poverty as I walked in the door".

"I saw the reality. Some people had just a twig in a corner for a Christmas tree," she said.

"Some homes have no curtains, babies are crawling around on rotting carpet, it's damp and the children are running around with no shoes on and with visible skin conditions."

Tenants Protection Association manager Helen Gatonyi believes this year is "shaping up to be the worst".

"When winter strikes this year, we predict it's going to be very difficult for a large number of people."

Some owners had been renting out cramped, damp three-bedroom homes for more than $500 a week, she said.

"The behaviour of some landlords is totally unacceptable. They are renting homes for an arm and a leg, knowing there will be a queue of people lining up to view the place."

Gatonyi is calling for a warrant of fitness and code of practice to be placed on Christchurch rental properties and said the association was about to launch an in-depth inquiry into the living conditions of tenants in the city.

The Government's investigation into overcrowding, homelessness and unsuitable living conditions in Christchurch was kick-started in June last year, but the results are yet to be released.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had hoped to have the report finalised by the end of last year.

A spokeswoman said the release had been pushed back to ensure the information was correct and the report "robust".

According to recent ministry figures, rents rose between 7 and 21 per cent in Christchurch last year, depending on suburb.

SOLO MUM JUST WANTS A CHANCE

You don't have to look far to find a Christchurch family living in poverty.

Amber Breiter and her 1-year-old daughter inhabit a standalone garage in Linwood.

There is no heating. There is no carpet. And the windows do not open.

The 22-year-old mother was renting a two-bedroom house in Waltham last month with her daughter, Bella, and 4-year-old son, Jesse, but said she had to give it up because she could not afford the rent, power and food bills.

A week before she moved out, she rang Housing New Zealand and asked to be put on the waiting list.

Breiter moved into her mother's shed with her daughter, and her son now sleeps inside the four-bedroom house - with seven other relatives.

She pays $300 a week for food, power and rent for the one-car garage and said she looked on Trade Me every day for an affordable rental property.

She has been to 15 flat viewings in the past two weeks but has had to compete with more than 60 prospective tenants every time. With two young children and a bad credit rating, she said there was little hope.

Breiter's message to landlords was: "Give the little person a chance."

"I am down on my hands and knees, saying 'Please'."

Raising her children in impoverished conditions was soul-destroying, Breiter said.

"Jesse asks why I don't love him any more. He thinks I am trying to punish him by doing this."

Breiter went on the domestic purposes benefit after she was injured at work in the June earthquakes in 2011 and has sought help on budgeting advice and finding employment from welfare agencies.
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« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2013, 05:15:10 pm »

http://news.yahoo.com/2-great-lakes-hit-lowest-water-level-record-233716573.html

2/6/13

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Two of the Great Lakes have hit their lowest water levels ever recorded, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday, capping more than a decade of below-normal rain and snowfall and higher temperatures that boost evaporation.
 
Measurements taken last month show Lake Huron and Lake Michigan have reached their lowest ebb since record keeping began in 1918, and the lakes could set additional records over the next few months, the corps said. The lakes were 29 inches below their long-term average and had declined 17 inches since January 2012.
 
The other Great Lakes — Superior, Erie and Ontario — were also well below average.
 
"We're in an extreme situation," said Keith Kompoltowicz, watershed hydrology chief for the corps district office in Detroit.
 
The low water has caused heavy economic losses by forcing cargo ships to carry lighter loads, leaving boat docks high and dry, and damaging fish-spawning areas. And vegetation has sprung up in newly exposed shoreline bottomlands, a turnoff for hotel customers who prefer sandy beaches.
 
The corps' report came as shippers pleaded with Congress for more money to dredge ever-shallower harbors and channels. Shippers are taxed to support a harbor maintenance fund, but only about half of the revenue is spent on dredging. The remainder is diverted to the treasury for other purposes. Legislation to change that policy is pending before Congress.
 
"Plunging water levels are beyond anyone's control, but the dredging crisis is man-made," said James Weakley, president of the Cleveland-based Lake Carriers' Association.
 
Kompoltowicz said the Army corps might reconsider a long-debated proposal to place structures in a river to reduce the flow of water away from Lakes Huron and Lake Michigan, which are connected.
 
Scientists say lake levels are cyclical and controlled mostly by nature. They began a steep decline in the late 1990s and have usually lagged well below their historical averages since then.
 
But studies have shown that Huron and Michigan fell by 10 to 16 inches because of dredging over the years to deepen the navigational channel in the St. Clair River, most recently in the 1960s. Dredging of the river, which is on the south end of Lake Huron, accelerated the flow of water southward from the two lakes toward Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Groups representing shoreline property owners, primarily in Lake Huron's Georgian Bay, have demanded action to slow the Lake Huron and Michigan outflow to make up for losses that resulted from dredging, which they contend are even greater than officials have acknowledged.
 
Although the Army corps produced a list of water-slowing options in 1972, including miniature dams and sills that resemble speed bumps along the river bottom, nothing was done because the lakes were in a period of above-average levels that lasted nearly three decades, Kompoltowicz said.
 
The corps has congressional authorization to take action but would need money for an updated study as a first step, he said. The Detroit office is considering a funding request, but it would have to compete with other projects nationwide and couldn't get into the budget before 2015.
 
"It's no guarantee that we're going to get it, especially in this budget climate," Kompoltowicz said. "But there are serious impacts to navigation and shoreline property owners from this extreme event. It's time to revisit this."
 
Scientists and engineers convened by the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canadian agency that deals with shared waterways, issued reports in 2009 and last year that did not endorse trying to regulate the Great Lakes by placing structures at choke points such as the St. Clair River. The commission has conducted public hearings and will issue a statement in about a month, spokesman John Nevin said.
 
Roger Gauthier, a retired staff hydrologist with the Army corps, said a series of "speed bumps" could be put in the river at a reasonable cost within a few years. Without such measures, he warned, "it would take years of consistent rain" to return Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to normal.
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« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2013, 05:39:19 pm »

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Millions_of_Indians_facing_worst_drought_in_decades_999.html
3/6/13
Millions of Indians facing worst drought in decades

Millions of people in western India are suffering their worst drought in more than four decades, with critics blaming official ineptitude and corruption for exacerbating the natural water shortage.

Central areas of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, are facing a water shortage worse than the severe drought in 1972, the state's chief minister Prithviraj Chavan told AFP.

"In recorded history the reservoirs have never been so low in central Maharashtra," he said. "With every passing day the reservoirs are drying up."

Chavan blamed the crisis on two successive poor monsoons, although others say a public policy failure is also responsible.

Nearly 2,000 tanker trucks are being used to transport drinking water to the needy, while hundreds of cattle camps have been set up to keep livestock alive until the monsoon, which usually arrives in June.

"With every passing day, the tankers have to travel a greater distance. It's a huge logistical issue," Chavan said.

The chief minister's office could not put an exact figure on the population in the 10,000 villages affected, but said it ran into millions.

Christopher Moses runs a charitable hospital in Jalna, one of the worst-affected districts. He said many people had lost their livelihoods as companies shut down and farmers' crops wither.

"This is a famine. Villagers have nothing to eat, they are scraping literally the bottom of their pot," Moses told AFP by telephone from Jalna.

"Water-related diseases are on the up, starvation will start coming up, malnutrition will start coming up now," he said.

He said the crisis may force him to shut down parts of his Jalna Mission Hospital for the first time in its 117-year history. It has not yet seen any emergency water supplies from the government.

With nearly three-quarters of Indians dependent on rural incomes, the yearly monsoon is a lifeline -- especially given that about two-thirds of farmland is not irrigated and depends entirely on rain.

The 1972 drought led to a massive shortage of food grains and prices of all commodities rocketed, forcing India's government to increase imports, while another widespread drought in 2009 also inflated prices and hardship.

While last year's monsoon picked up late in western parts of India, low rainfall in the crucial month of June led to water deficiency throughout the season, according to Medha Khole at the India Meteorological Department.

Chavan warned there would a "very serious problem" if the rains fail this year.

An alleged irrigation scam has been blamed for worsening Maharashtra's crisis, with politicians and bureaucrats accused of wasting vast public funds on unfinished projects in the state through corruption and nepotism.

Maharashtra's proportion of irrigated land grew by just 0.1 percentage points between 2000 and 2010, an official economic survey said, despite billions of dollars being spent on it.

A controversial government white paper has disputed the statistics and Chavan declined to comment on graft allegations involving other ministers because the courts are investigating.

He acknowledged that the government "could have planned better" on irrigation schemes and was now trying to complete projects meant for agriculture to provide drinking water in deficient areas.

Professor H.M. Desarda, an economist in the drought-hit region, said corruption was a "very significant part of the problem", but a lack of understanding of how best to harvest rainwater was also to blame.

He believes better water management is needed and a shift of focus from expensive projects, such as giant dams, to smaller and more efficient community-level methods for storing water.

Regulations on groundwater extraction, which is exacerbating the water scarcity, also need to be more stringently enforced.

"It's not a failure of rain, it's a failure of public policies," said Desarda.
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« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2013, 12:48:40 am »

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/drought-worsening-parts-texas-133650952.html
3/8/13
Drought worsening in parts of Texas

Parts of Texas receive no precipitation last month, drought deepening in some regions


LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) -- Not one drop of rain fell in parts of Texas last month, deepening the state's inability to overcome a two-year drought.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows portions of North, South and southwest Texas returning to the exceptional drought category, the driest possible. National Weather Service rainfall maps show that much of southwest Texas received no rain in February; some areas in deep South Texas saw no more than a tenth of an inch.

The recent snowstorm, in which Amarillo set a record of 19.1 inches, helped pull most of the Panhandle out of the worst drought category. And a few areas received near normal precipitation from December to February, thanks to rain that fell in mid-January.

State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said the chance of rain this month is scant, aside from some in West Texas and east of Interstate 35 in the next couple of days.

"The weekend thing is the first significant rain for March," he said. "The next one in line in the forecast is not until a week from next Tuesday, so we're going a long time between storm systems."

But there is reason for optimism, as average rainfall totals were slightly above normal during the first two months of the year: 3.84 inches instead of the normal 3.23.

January was Texas' 15th wettest first month of a year, receiving an average of 2.64 inches. That surpassed the January average of 1.55 inches. February was below average, according to preliminary numbers that show the state got 1.2 inches instead of the normal 1.68 inches. Official February precipitation numbers were expected to be released Friday.

The four wettest months in Texas are April, May, June and October.

National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy said it's too early to say whether Texas is in for another bad drought year. Texas' driest year ever was 2011, when a La Nina pattern kept rains away while triple-digit temperatures baked the land and windy conditions sucked whatever moisture remained in the soil.

Murphy said there is an increased chance of below normal rainfall this month west of a line from Victoria to Wichita Falls.

"That's how we've been now for the last 30 months," he said of differing rainfall trends that have one half of the state getting rain and the other getting little to none. "Unfortunately, the South Texas area and the West Texas area are probably not going to get any rain."

Also, Thursday's report showed that levels of the 109 lakes that supply the majority of the state's water were 66.5 percent full, the lowest for this time of year since 1990.

"This is the time of year when we should be on the upswing" on lake levels, Murphy said.

He noted the levels had diminished gradually since mid-January's good rains, a combination of slightly warmer-than-normal temperatures and February's below-normal rainfall. However, reservoirs across North and Central Texas remain at healthy levels despite the prolonged drought.

Of great concern, Murphy said, are Willacy, Cameron and Hidalgo counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, where agriculture is struggling.

"That area is rising as a bullet as far as an area of concern," Murphy said of the counties, which have seen record 12- and 24-month periods of dryness. "It's starting to surpass West Texas as far as being the driest."

Earlier this week U.S. Sen. John Cornyn demanded an international commission intervene to ensure that Mexico diverts Rio Grande water to Texas, as it is obligated to do under a longstanding treaty. The persistent drought has depleted the Rio Grande, and arguments over when and how much water to release from the river have increased tensions.

Legislators, too, are working to address the state's water future during the current session.

In some ways, Nielsen-Gammon said, it's good the state continues to want for rain.

"It's a mixed bag," he said. "For drought to stay on the political radar, it has to continue."
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« Reply #58 on: March 11, 2013, 05:39:04 am »

Hey BA, what have you seen mentioned about the Ogalala Aquifer and T. Boon Pickens?

Recent articles about drought has mentioned it's water level is down 80%, and if water levels are that low, then what good is it for Pickens and others to be going after owning land over those drying up water sources? Seems like that kind of water source is extremely limited, and the real source is from oceans, and desalinization because we are taking water faster that the environment can cycle it through the earth's system.
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« Reply #59 on: March 11, 2013, 09:45:43 am »

Hey BA, what have you seen mentioned about the Ogalala Aquifer and T. Boon Pickens?

Recent articles about drought has mentioned it's water level is down 80%, and if water levels are that low, then what good is it for Pickens and others to be going after owning land over those drying up water sources? Seems like that kind of water source is extremely limited, and the real source is from oceans, and desalinization because we are taking water faster that the environment can cycle it through the earth's system.

I haven't read much about them lately(as they're from TX) - however, Pickens seems to get ALOT of positive press here, like he's some "good-hearted philathropist".

Yeah, from everything I've read, it's a big battle over water resources over our entire globe - it's as if the whole thing has been engineered by the NWO minions. Remember the "V" miniseries in the 80's, when the "aliens" came down to earth, and offered to exchange technology for water resources?
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