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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:33 PM

 

Hey, it's still dry out here in the Midwest.

You know, the breadbasket, the wheat/corn/soybean basket of the country. We're once again having an abnormally dry, and warm winter.

Which means we're all going to face some serious problems, pretty damn quick. The biggest, just right around the corner, is the winter wheat crop. Despite the fact that winter wheat is, for the most part, dormant during the winter months, still, agronomy experts are saying that right now, thirty percent of the crop is a failure. If we get some more rain, then we can live with that. But if we don't, prices for food are going to sky rocket, since winter wheat accounts for approximately seventy percent of this country's wheat production.

Fruit could very well be problematic as well. A lot of fruits, especially apples, require anywhere between two to five hundred hours of cold time each winter, ie below the freezing point. If they don't get the requisite number of hours, they simply don't fruit. That is what happened last year, and this year, well, we're running at right about half of the normal hours we would have by now. Currently in my neck of the woods, it is running in the forties, and is supposed to shoot up to the fifties again this weekend. If we get the proper number of cold hours in this year, it will just be by a whisker.

Water, we don't have any. A lot of farmers around here use small ponds to water their livestock, and small lakes to irrigate their crops. Well, all those ponds and lakes have been reduced to puddles, literally. Which means no water for livestock(unless the farmer hauls it from well head to fields), and no water for irrigation(unless the farmer decides to dig a well and lay in the requisite piping, expensive). Which could mean no livestock, and/or no crops.

While we're on the subject of water, let's talk rivers. The Missouri and the Mississippi are both so low that barge traffic is going to come to a screeching halt, if it hasn't happened already. Barges are how crops get from here to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. Sure, we could use trains or trucks, but that will entail more time, money and pollution to haul everything overland. Barges are also used to bring goods such as fertilizer into the Midwest. Again, without barges, more expense.

Let's not forget that many towns and cities along those rivers get their drinking water from them. What happens when a city of a hundred thousand people loses its water source? It's not going to be pretty.

Frankly, its looking like we're in for another year of severe drought. Another summer of a slow rolling disaster that is going to effect not just those of us here in flyover country, but the entire country. Food prices are going to rise, in fact prices for just about everything are going to rise.

Just thought you should know, so you can take whatever precautions you feel necessary.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:47 PM

1. We're bone dry in the southwest, too

Ski areas have mostly made snow, the few storms we've gotten too dry to add more than a few measly inches instead of the foot or two we'd see out of them in normal years.

People have been remarking on another site about what they're seeing in beef prices, people who live on the cheapest hamburger they can find. I've told them how it relates to climate change. Fun times are certainly here and more are coming.

I have a sneaking suspicion that eating cows is going to become a real luxury, as will dairy from cows.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:49 PM

2. I've heard reports of wells going dry up here in northeastern Minnesota.

Going dry. In winter.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:55 PM

3. I think that wells are going to be going dry all over the Midwest this upcoming year,

 

As people pump more and more from them, in order to combat the drought.

Welcome back the Dust Bowl.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:56 PM

4. Don't forget,much of the Midwest is dry

Savannah. Irrigation came into use under Nixon by using big subsidies and cheap loans. Karma has come back to bit these guy's in the butt. Can't keep pumping ground water without consequences. Guy's,it's all about the CME in Chicago,they control all and any types of crops that are grown and marketed. It's all about the almighty buck.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:40 PM

5. they want to use the water for fracking....

then dump the waste water back on the land...

big problem in central and southern illinois because most of the water comes from lakes ,rivers ,and ponds

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:42 PM

6. I would like to hear suggestions from DUers on where to move.

I don't think the Midwest is going to be viable for much longer. Forget the dust bowl conditions. How many people can deal with water shortages to their homes?

I've already told my ex that this is something to keep in mind. I want to leave the Midwest with my daughters BEFORE it gets too bad.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:02 PM

7. Winter wheat here was covered with protective snow yesterday...rain is coming

and that could melt it away...rain on frozen ground doesn't penetrate so well on hillsides.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:20 PM

8. Most of the country is still in drought

I am lucky since all we really got to was abnormally dry, but we have been there since June and drought stricken areas were very close by.


http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:43 PM

9. Aren't you getting any of our moisture?

We were assured that the emissions and steam from our downtown power plant go east to Kansas and cause rain. It was in a LTTE today. I can't link it until tomorrow because I don't get the "green" edition. I'm in Colorado Springs, but, you know, I didn't notice a lot of rain for anyone east of us last year. And since more people here are putting in air conditioning making more stuff going into the air, you'd think you'd see some difference. I just don't understand, the gentleman seemed so well informed.

Kidding aside, I hear you. This is serious. Look what's happening in Australia. Another year lilke last year...maybe more people will start paying attention instead of burying their heads or whistling Dixie.

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