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Offline RE

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Official California Dustbowl Thread
« on: January 24, 2014, 01:10:39 AM »
Food Supply issues on the Horizon....

A 61 year LOW when the Population Size in 61 years went from 150M to 300M?  That is half the Ribeye Steaks per Capita!

RE

U.S. Cattle Herd Is At A 61 Year Low And Organic Food Shortages Are Being Reported All Over America

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/23/2014 21:29 -0500

Submitted by Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse blog,

If the extreme drought in the western half of the country keeps going, the food supply problems that we are experiencing right now are only going to be the tip of the iceberg.  As you will see below, the size of the U.S. cattle herd has dropped to a 61 year low, and organic food shortages are being reported all over the nation.  Surprisingly cold weather and increasing demand for organic food have both been a factor, but the biggest threat to the U.S. food supply is the extraordinary drought which has had a relentless grip on the western half of the country.  If you check out the U.S. Drought Monitor, you can see that drought conditions currently stretch from California all the way to the heart of Texas.  In fact, the worst drought in the history of the state of California is happening right now.  And considering the fact that the rest of the nation is extremely dependent on produce grown in California and cattle raised in the western half of the U.S., this should be of great concern to all of us.

A local Fox News report that was featured on the Drudge Report entitled "Organic food shortage hits US" has gotten quite a bit of attention. The following is an excerpt from that article...

    Since Christmas, cucumbers supplies from Florida have almost ground to a halt and the Mexican supply is coming but it's just not ready yet.

     

    And as the basic theory of economics goes, less supply drives up prices.

     

    Take organic berries for example:

     

    There was a strawberry shortage a couple weeks back and prices spiked.

     

    Experts say the primary reasons for the shortages are weather and demand.

And without a doubt, demand for organic food has grown sharply in recent years.  More Americans than ever have become aware of how the modern American diet is slowly killing all of us, and they are seeking out alternatives.

Due to the tightness in supply and the increasing demand, prices for organic produce just continue to go up.  Just consider the following example...

    A quick check on the organic tree fruit market shows that the average price per carton for organic apples was $38 per carton in mid-January this year, up from an average of just $31 per carton last year at the same time. At least for apple marketers, the organic market is heating up.

Personally, I went to a local supermarket the other day and I started to reach for a package of organic strawberries but I stopped when I saw that they were priced at $6.99.  I couldn't justify paying 7 bucks for one package.  I still remember getting them on sale for $2.99 last year.

Unfortunately, this may only be just the beginning of the price increases.  California Governor Jerry Brown has just declared a water emergency, and reservoirs throughout the state have dropped to dangerously low levels.

Unless a miracle happens, there is simply not going to be enough water to go around for the entire agriculture industry.  The following is an excerpt from an email from an industry insider that researcher Ray Gano recently shared on his website...

    Harris farms has released a statement saying they will leave about 40,000 acres fallow this year because the FEDS have decided to only deliver 10% of the water allocation for 2014. Lettuce is predicted to reach around $5.00 a head (if you can find it). Understand the farmers in the Salinas valley are considering the same action. So much for salad this summer unless you grow it yourself.

The reason why the agriculture industry in California is so important is because it literally feeds the rest of the nation.  I shared the following statistics yesterday, but they are so critical that they bear repeating.  As you can see, without the fruits and vegetables that California grows, we would be in for a world of hurt...

    The state produces 99 percent of the artichokes grown in the US, 44 percent of asparagus, a fifth of cabbage, two-thirds of carrots, half of bell peppers, 89 percent of cauliflower, 94 percent of broccoli, and 95 percent of celery. Leafy greens? California’s got the market cornered: 90 percent of the leaf lettuce we consume, along with and 83 percent of Romaine lettuce and 83 percent of fresh spinach, come from the big state on the left side of the map. Cali also cranks a third of total fresh tomatoes consumed in the U.S.—and 95 percent of ones destined for cans and other processing purposes.

     

    As for fruit, I get that 86 percent of lemons and a quarter of oranges come from there; its sunny climate makes it perfect for citrus, and lemons store relatively well. Ninety percent of avocados? Fine. But 84 percent of peaches, 88 percent of fresh strawberries, and 97 percent of fresh plums?

    Come on. Surely the other 49 states can do better.

Are you starting to understand how much trouble we could be in if this drought does not end?

About now I can hear some people out there saying that they will just eat meat because they don't like vegetables anyway.

Well, unfortunately we are rapidly approaching a beef shortage as well.

On January 1st, the U.S. cattle herd hit a 61-year low of 89.3 million head of cattle.

The biggest reason for this is the 5 year drought that has absolutely crippled the cattle industry out west...

    Back in the late fall 2013 there was a freak snowstorm that killed close to 300,000+ cattle. This is a major hit to the cattle market.

     

    I know in Texas where they still have a 5 year drought they are dealing with, they are having to ship grass bails in from Colorado, Utah and other parts of the country just to feed the cattle. Ranchers are sending their female cattle to the slaughter houses becasue they can not afford to feed them anymore. It is the females that help re-stock the herd. SO if you are slaughtering your females, your herd does not grow. It is expected that the US will not see cattle herd growth returning until 2017, maybe even later.

This is a problem which is not going away any time soon.

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. cattle herd has gotten smaller for six years in a row, and the amount of beef produced is expected to drop to a 20 year low in 2014...

    The U.S. cattle herd contracted for six straight years to the smallest since 1952, government data show. A record drought in 2011 destroyed pastures in Texas, the top producing state, followed the next year by a surge in feed-grain prices during the worst Midwest dry spell since the 1930s. Fewer cattle will mean production in the $85 billion beef industry drops to a 20- year low in 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

It would be hard to overstate how devastating this ongoing drought has been for many ranchers out west.  For example, one 64-year-old rancher who lives in Texas says that his herd is 90 percent smaller than it was back in 2005 because of the drought...

    Texas rancher Looney, who is 64 and has been in the cattle business his whole life, said his herd is still about 90 percent below its size from 2005 because of the prolonged dry weather. It will take years for the pastures to come back, even if there is normal rainfall, he said. About 44 percent of Texas was in still in drought in the week ended Jan. 7, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

And it isn't just the U.S. that is dealing with this kind of drought.  The largest freshwater lake in China that was once about twice the size of London, England has almost entirely dried up because of the ongoing drought over there.

Meanwhile, global demand for food just continues to rise.

If this drought ends and the western half of the nation starts getting lots of rain, this could just be a temporary crisis.

However, the truth is that scientific research has shown that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and that we should expect things to return to "normal" at some point.

So is that happening now?

Over the past couple of years, I have warned that Dust Bowl conditions are starting to return to the western half of the United States.  Just see this article, this article and this article.

Now the state of California is experiencing the worst drought that it has ever gone through and "apocalyptic" dust storms are being reported in Colorado and Nevada.

Just because things seem like they have always been a certain way does not mean that they will always stay that way.

Things out west are rapidly changing, and in the end it is going to affect the lives of every man, woman and child in the United States.
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Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 08:47:00 AM »
The in-laws ranch is down to 150 head form over a 1,000 when the wife was younger.

"So much for salad this summer unless you grow it yourself."

Do that anyway.  Didn't buy much produce last year at all.

If you live out this way, stock up.  I'm about to order a 250 gallon potable water container (US plastics, $ 450) - they drop-ship form down the road so shipping should not be too expensive.

 

Offline Eddie

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 09:13:38 AM »
Permaculture is the only answer we have for drought. The faster we forget about Big Ag and start building food forests and swaling the hell out of our land, the better.

And every house here will one day have water catchment, and every farm and ranch will be able to stockpile a hundred thousand gallons of water.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2014, 09:20:46 AM »
Permaculture is the only answer we have for drought. The faster we forget about Big Ag and start building food forests and swaling the hell out of our land, the better.

And every house here will one day have water catchment, and every farm and ranch will be able to stockpile a hundred thousand gallons of water.

That still requires rain, which makes a prolonged drought in the SW a danger.  Swales and catchment don't work if rainfall drops below a threshold.  Any idea what that threshold is for your area?

 

Offline Eddie

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2014, 09:49:01 AM »
Yes, actually. Learned it in my PDC course, LOL.

Our average rainfall is in the neighborhood of 34 inches a year. The low threshold number I was quoted was 18 inches.

The thing is that as the overall Texas drought continues, the so-called traditional "dry line" of 100 degrees of longitude seems to be drifting east. MY place is at about 98 degrees, and it is amazing how much more rain that has fallen just a few miles to the east of us. It has to do with the topography of the land, of course. Its the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2014, 10:33:05 AM »
Yes, actually. Learned it in my PDC course, LOL.

Our average rainfall is in the neighborhood of 34 inches a year. The low threshold number I was quoted was 18 inches.

The thing is that as the overall Texas drought continues, the so-called traditional "dry line" of 100 degrees of longitude seems to be drifting east. MY place is at about 98 degrees, and it is amazing how much more rain that has fallen just a few miles to the east of us. It has to do with the topography of the land, of course. Its the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau.

Excellent, that sort of local knowledge, combined with what we've learn about soil and plants over the last few centuries, is key to survival.

How many inches of rain did your area get last year, and so far this winter?



Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2014, 11:16:01 AM »
If you live out this way, stock up.  I'm about to order a 250 gallon potable water container (US plastics, $ 450)
Holy frijoles!!  I bought roughly 50 gallon food-grade plastic containers for about $5 each 10 years ago.... used, of course....  I hope you're getting something really special for $450.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2014, 11:30:52 AM »
If you live out this way, stock up.  I'm about to order a 250 gallon potable water container (US plastics, $ 450)
Holy frijoles!!  I bought roughly 50 gallon food-grade plastic containers for about $5 each 10 years ago.... used, of course....  I hope you're getting something really special for $450.

I got about the same amount free, but I don't use them for water storage, just for grains in vacuum sealed mylar bags, around 15- 45 lbs per bucket, depending on the grain.


Offline Eddie

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2014, 11:37:31 AM »
 Haniel

On the rainfall:

I tried to look that up. I haven't found good numbers for the 'stead. Best guesstimate is about 30 inches for 2013.  Between Sept. 1 2013 and the end of the year was a little under 10 inches. Those numbers are from a station a few miles away, and it really does vary, even locally. My creek is low, not flowing, but has water in the holes. The creek is my rain gauge.

Higher than average rainfall is predicted for April. We might have some creek water to jump in, but only if it gets better. It looks to me like it could be completely dry soon. And this is the wet season.

Austin got a lot more, but our lakes lie to the west, and aren't being filled.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline agelbert

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 01:02:04 PM »
Eddie and Haniel,
Just a thought, but I remember reading that as long as the relative humidity is NOT at or below the DESERT  level of 23%, you can extract water from the air. A solar panel running a dehumidifier could provide water for irrigation IF you had an irrigation system like the Israelis invented 40 years ago (pipes with tiny holes in them about 6 to twelve inches under the soil).

The big deal with semi-desert irrigation is preventing salt deposits from building up. That is why dehumidified water (look ma, no minerals!  :icon_mrgreen:) is a plus.

This article claims you need better than 40% RH so they are more conservative in the relative humidity requirement. The point is that, as long as you have sufficient relative humidity AND solar energy to run a dehumidifier, you CAN handle drought conditions pretty well.

Quote
As the water crisis becomes more real, with droughts, pollution, depleted snow packs and other issues shortening our fresh water supplies, there is one technology that you'll want to boost your water IQ with - atmospheric water generation. While it sounds like something for a distant, drastically different future, there are actually residential water generators on the market today. Find out how the technology works, and what options are out on the market if you want one for your home.

Atmospheric Water Generators, aka Home Water Makers, Explained


What's an atmospheric water generator?
There are multiple ways of generating a fresh water supply, from fog fences to desalination plants. However, there are also water generation technologies for residential homes, as long as the atmospheric conditions are right. If there is the right mix of humidity, temperature and altitude, an atmospheric water generator (AWG) takes advantage of the natural process of condensation through dehumidification.

How does a water maker work?


Essentially, the AWG is plugged in, a coil is cooled so that warmer air passing over it condenses from vapor to liquid. The liquid is captured and stored in a holding tank as fresh drinking water. As long as humidity is above 40%, the altitude is below 4,000 feet, and the ambient air temperature is above 35°F, water can be collected.


Full article with graphics at link:  :emthup: :icon_sunny:

http://www.treehugger.com/clean-water/the-low-down-on-home-water-makers-and-7-to-choose-from.html


Water Maker Potential Sales Growth Market Areas.   :P
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
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Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2014, 03:40:20 PM »
Fresno has a number of holes that even LD would be challenged by:

http://www.undergroundgardens.com/




Plus our interest in domes....



and now you're suggesting moisture farming...



So you're suggesting we live in live in partially underground domes, while harvesting moisture?

6dmly
6dmly

Offline agelbert

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2014, 04:35:37 PM »
Use the force, Luke (or whatever works. :icon_mrgreen: )
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline RE

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Official California Dustbowl Thread
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 06:15:49 PM »
I have a drought thread somewhere, but can't find it right now.  Anyhow, CA Drought deserves its own thread.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/H_NrKhJ-NAM?feature=player_detailpage" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/H_NrKhJ-NAM?feature=player_detailpage</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/0Z5l_ateD6M?feature=player_detailpage" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/0Z5l_ateD6M?feature=player_detailpage</a>

RE

California's New 'Dust Bowl': "It's Gonna Be a Slow, Painful, Agonizing Death" For Farmers

Tyler Durden's picture





 

 

"It's really a crisis situation," exclaims one California city manager, "and it's going to get worse in time if this drought doesn't alleviate."

 

For the state that produces one-third of the nation's fruits and vegetables, the driest spell in 500 years has prompted President Obama to make $100 million in livestock-disaster aid available within 60 days to help the state rebound from what he describes is " going to be a very challenging situation this year... and potentially some time to come."

 

 

As NBC reports, Governor Jerry Brown believes the "unprecedented emergency" could cost $2.8 billion in job income and $11 billion in state revenues - and as one farmer noted "we can't recapture that." Dismal recollections of the 1930's Dust Bowl are often discussed as workers (and employers) are "packing their bags and leaving town..." leaving regions to "run the risk of becoming desolate ghost towns as local governments and businesses collapse."

 

 

 

Via NBC,

 
 

"The truth of the matter is that this is going to be a very challenging situation this year, and frankly, the trend lines are such where it's going to be a challenging situation for some time to come," Obama said Friday during a meeting with local leaders in Firebaugh, Calif., a rural enclave not far from Fresno.

 

Obama promised to make $100 million in livestock-disaster aid available within 60 days to help the state rebound from what the White House's top science and technology adviser has called the worst dry spell in 500 years.

 

...

 

"A lot of people don't realize the amount of money that's been lost, the amount of jobs lost. And we can't recapture that," Joel Allen, the owner of the Joel Allen Ranch in Firebaugh, told NBC News.

 

"It's horrible," Allen added. "People are standing in food lines and people are coming by my office every day looking for work."

 

Allen — whose family has been in farming for three generations — and his 20-man crew are out of work.

 

He said: "We're to the point where we're scratching our head. What are we gonna do next?"

 

At the local grocery store, fruit prices are up — but sales are down. The market was forced to lay off three employees — and many more throughout the town are packing their bags and leaving town.

 

McDonald said farming communities like Firebaugh run the risk of becoming desolate ghost towns as local governments and businesses collapse.

 

"It's going to be a slow, painful process — but it could happen," McDonald said. "It's not going to be one big tsunami where you're gonna having something get wiped out in one big wave. It's gonna be a slow, painful, agonizing death."

 

...

 

The problem is not just in California. Federal agriculture officials in January designated parts of 11 states as disaster areas, citing the economic strain that the lack of rain is putting on farmers. Those states are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

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Offline DoomerSupport

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Re: Official California Dustbowl Thread
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 05:44:37 PM »
The very dark red - that's pretty much on top of the Monteray Shale play.


Offline RE

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Re: Official FSoA DROUGHT Thread
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2014, 12:05:59 AM »
Feds Withhold Water To California Farmers For First Time In 54 Years

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/21/2014 20:49 -0500
 
The US Bureau of Reclamation released its first outlook of the year and finds insufficient stock is available in California to release irrigation water for farmers. This is the first time in the 54 year history of the State Water Project. "If it's not there, it's just not there," notes a Water Authority director adding that it's going to be tough to find enough water, but farmers are hit hardest as "they're all on pins and needles trying to figure out how they're going to get through this." Fields will go unplanted (supply lower mean food prices higher), or farmers will pay top dollar for water that's on the market (and those costs can only be passed on via higher food prices).

 

Via AP,

Federal officials announced Friday that many California farmers caught in the state's drought can expect to receive no irrigation water this year from a vast system of rivers, canals and reservoirs interlacing the state.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released its first outlook of the year, saying that the agency will continue to monitor rain and snow fall, but the grim levels so far prove that the state is in the throes of one of its driest periods in recorded history.

Unless the year turns wet, many farmers can expect to receive no water from the federally run Central Valley Project.

... the state's snowpack is at 29 percent of average for this time of year.

...

California officials who manage the State Water Project, the state's other major water system, have already said they won't be releasing any water for farmers, marking a first in its 54-year history.

...

"They're all on pins and needles trying to figure out how they're going to get through this," Holman said, adding that Westland's 700 farmers will choose to leave fields unplanted, draw water from wells or pay top dollar for water that's on the market.

Farmers are hit hardest, but they're not alone. Contractors that provide cities with water can expect to receive half of their usual amount, the Bureau said, and wildlife refuges that need water flows in rivers to protect endangered fish will receive 40 percent of their contracted supply.

Contractors that provide farmers with water and hold historic agreements giving them senior rights will receive 40 percent of their normal supplies. Some contracts date back over a century and guarantee that farmers will receive at least 75 percent of their water.

One of those is the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority in Los Banos that provides irrigation for 240,000 acres of farmland.

The Water Authority's executive director Steve Chedester said farmers he serves understand that the reality of California's drought means it's going to be tough to find enough water for them. "They're taking a very practical approach," he said. "If it's not there, it's just not there."
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