Crops and Weather

Total Catastrophe For U.S. Corn Production: Only 30% Of U.S. Corn Fields Have Been Planted – 5 Year Average Is 66%

By Michael Snyder

2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry.  Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground.  I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it.  But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate.  And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly.  In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield.  Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year.  It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.

According to the Department of Agriculture, over the past five years an average of 66 percent of all corn fields were already planted by now…

U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.

Soybean farmers have more time to recover, but they are facing a unique problem of their own which we will talk about later in the article.

But first, let’s take a look at the corn planting numbers from some of our most important corn producing states.  I think that you will agree that these numbers are almost too crazy to believe…

Iowa: 48 percent planted – 5 year average 76 percent

Minnesota: 21 percent planted – 5 year average 65 percent

North Dakota: 11 percent planted – 5 year average 43 percent

South Dakota: 4 percent planted – 5 year average 54 percent

Yes, you read those numbers correctly.

Can you imagine what this is going to do to food prices?

Many farmers are extremely eager to plant crops, but the wet conditions have made it impossible.  The following comes from ABC 7 Chicago

McNeill grows corn and soybeans on more than 500 acres in Grayslake. But much of his farmland is underwater right now, and all of it is too wet to plant. Rain is a farmer’s friend in the summer but in the spring too much rain keeps farmers from planting.

The unusually wet spring has affected farmers throughout the Midwest, but Illinois has been especially hard hit. Experts say with the soil so wet, heavy and cold, it takes the air out and washes nutrients away, making it difficult if not impossible for seeds to take root.

Right now, soil moisture levels in the state of Illinois “are in the 90th to 99th percentile statewide”.  In other words, the entire state is completely and utterly drenched.

As a result, very few Illinois farmers have been able to get corn or soybeans in the ground at this point

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress reports, about 11% of Illinois corn has been planted and about 4% of soybeans. Last year at this time, 88% of corn and 56% of soybeans were in the ground.

I would use the word “catastrophe” to describe what Illinois farmers are facing, but the truth is that what they are going through is far beyond that.

Normally, if corn farmers have a problem getting corn in the ground then they just switch to soybeans instead.  But thanks to the trade war, soybean exports have plummeted dramatically, and the price of soybeans is the lowest that it has been in a decade.

As a result there is very little profit, if any, in growing soybeans this year

Farmers in many parts of the corn belt have suffered from a wet and cooler spring, which has prevented them from planting corn. Typically when it becomes too late to plant corn, farmers will instead plant soybeans, which can grow later into the fall before harvest is required. Yet now, planting soybeans with the overabundance already in bins and scant hope for sales to one of the biggest buyers in China, could raise the risk of a financial disaster.

And if the wet conditions persist, many soybean farms are not going to be able to plant crops at all this year.

Sadly, global weather patterns are continuing to go haywire, and much more rain is coming to the middle of the country starting on Friday

Any hopes of getting corn and soybean planting back on track in the U.S. may be washed away starting Friday as a pair of storms threaten to deliver a “one-two punch” of soaking rain and tornadoes across the Great Plains and Midwest through next week.

As much as 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain will soak soils from South Dakota and Minnesota south to Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations.  I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.

Even though I have been regularly documenting the nightmarish agricultural conditions in the middle of the country, the numbers in this article are much worse than I thought they would be at this point in 2019.

This is truly a major national crisis, and it is just getting started.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

from:    https://www.activistpost.com/2019/05/total-catastrophe-for-u-s-corn-production-only-30-of-u-s-corn-fields-have-been-planted-5-year-average-is-66.html

Technological Delusions

The Technological Fix Delusion

intelligent earthEnvironmentalists and concerned citizens are increasingly beginning to recognize the delusion of the ‘technological fix’ – the use of technology to remedy problems caused by previous technology.

It is increasingly obvious that a new pesticide won’t finally eliminate the superweeds that evolved to resist the previous pesticide, that new and more powerful antibiotics won’t bring final victory over the superbugs that evolved to resist previous antibiotics, and that massive geoengineering projects like seeding the stratosphere with sulphuric acid or the oceans with iron (to combat climate change) will likely cause horrific unanticipated consequences.What is less obvious is how pervasive the mentality behind the technological fix is. In the United States, we respond to the failure of metal detectors, lockdowns, and other forms of control in our schools by calling for even more control. European countries unable to pay their debts are lent even more money, with the proviso that they try even harder to pay their debts. Imperialist powers apply military violence to fight the terrorism that is a response to previous imperialism and violence. Doctors prescribe drugs to address the side-effects caused by other drugs. Urban planners address traffic congestion by building more roads (which leads to more development and more traffic). And millions of people manage the emptiness of a life of material acquisition by buying more material possessions.

Underneath the technological fix is a way of perceiving ourselves and the world. More than a mere mentality of separation and of control, it comes from a disconnected state of being that is blind to the indwelling purpose and intelligence of nature.

For example, a skilled organic farmer might see weeds or bugs not as interlopers but as a symptom of imbalance in soil ecology. To address them holistically, she must believe there even is such a thing as soil ecology. In other words, she must believe in the wholeness and interconnectedness of all beings that make up soil. She must see soil as a collective, emergent entity in its own right, and not an inert, generic substrate that plants grow in.

Conventional agriculture, on the other hand, sees weeds as kind of an outbreak of badness, similar to the way we have seen terrorism, or violence in schools, or disease. To see it otherwise, as a symptom of a deeper disharmony, presupposes that there is such a harmony, an integrity, a beingness, and not just a senseless jumble. The technological fix addresses the symptom while ignoring the illness, because it cannot see an integral entity that can become ill.

I don’t want to gloss over the profundity of the paradigm shift we are accepting if we are to see nature as intelligent and purposive. To do so is to abdicate the exclusive domain to which we have appointed ourselves: the sole intelligence of the world. It is to humble ourselves to something greater, and seek our place not as Cartesian lords and possessors of nature, but as contributors to an unfolding process beyond our selves. This inescapable conclusion is, perhaps, the reason why teleology is anathema to orthodox science. Purpose was supposed to be our domain! And the king of that domain was the scientist, wielding technology to enact its dominion.

The idea of an inherently purposeful universe is far more radical than religious notions of intelligent design, which agree with mechanistic science about matter and cede intelligence to an external, supernatural being. Such a narrative offers no compunctions to limit the despoliation of nature. It asks us to humble ourselves to nothing of this world.

To be so humbled, we must see that the soul of nature – its purpose, intelligence, and beingness – comes not from without but from within. It is an emergent property borne of non-linear complexity. In non-linear systems, small actions can have enormous consequences. The technological fix is based on linear thinking. The alternative is to develop sensitivity to the emergent order and intelligence that wants to unfold, so that we might bow into its service.

What might that look like? Technology in service to Earth includes things like regenerative agriculture and permaculture to heal the soil, replenish the aquifers, and sequester carbon. It includes green energy technologies, conservation technologies, bioremediation, wetlands restoration, zero-waste manufacturing, anything that contributes to the health of the planet and its ecosystems.

Today, painfully, we are becoming aware of the folly of the delusion that we can, with clever enough technological solutions, avoid the consequences of what we do to the world. We are learning that we are not separate from nature, and that it bears a wholeness that we ignore at our peril. Our techno-utopian dreams and basic scientific paradigms are unraveling in tandem with many of our social institutions, because the underlying narrative of separation is unraveling as well.

These converging crises – social, ecological, and intellectual – are expelling us from our old story. As that happens, none of our fixes, technological or otherwise, are working anymore to control the pain: the grief, the rage, the loneliness we feel as we gaze out upon what we have wrought. Thus begins the healing journey into a new narrative of cocreative participation in the unfolding destiny of our planet.

Source: “Technology and the Intelligence of Nature,” by Charles Eisenstein, from theecologist.org

from:    http://theunboundedspirit.com/the-technological-fix-delusion/

The Many Uses of Hemp

Seven amazing uses of hemp

Friday, June 14, 2013 by: PF Louis

(NaturalNews) How did a plant that is so easily cultivated with so many uses since it was first grown in China around 6,000 BC become illegal? Even the original Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

Hemp fiber was used for sails and ropes for sea-going vessels during the 17th and 18th Centuries. Up until the early 20th Century, removing hemp fiber by hand was too tedious and slow for hemp to compete with other industries propelled by the burgeoning machine age.

But as WWI broke out, a German immigrant in California, George Schlichten, invented and successfully tested the first hemp decorticator, which could mechanically strip hemp of its fiber rapidly and efficiently.

Associates of the USA’s newspaper magnate of that time, EW Scripps, showed some interest in using the decorticator on a 100-acre plot of hemp near San Diego for Scripps’ paper sources. Economic circumstances and the war discouraged their plans. [1]

During the late 1930s, editions of Popular Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering exclaimed hemp could now become a billion dollar industry because of the hemp decorticator, making it seem it was a new invention even though it had been around since 1917.

But those re-emerging headlines may have have motivated industrial and banking giants with connections in Roosevelt’s administration to rid the hemp threat to their interests. This led to the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, the first step in squashing the hemp industry.

Even the AMA was thrown off by this legislation because hemp tinctures and oils had been prescribed for several ailments.

Here’s a summarized story that names the vested interests behind that legislation: http://www.princeton.edu.

Amazing hemp benefits

(1) Medicinal: Medical marijuana or cannabis edibles and THC hemp oils have been studied internationally by reputable labs and clinics for their healing properties, especially regarding cancer, for decades.

According to GreenMedInfo founder Sayer Ji, “Indeed, the GreenMedInfo.com project has uncovered 129 distinct disease categories that may benefit from this remarkable plant thus far, and new studies are being added on a weekly basis.” [2]

Classifying marijuana as a drug without medical merit is a lie perpetuated by the Justice Department’s DEA to keep it illegal for their business of arresting and prosecuting peaceful marijuana users.

Then came a Canadian, Rick Simpson, who cured his Nova Scotia neighbors with his own cannabis or hemp oil (http://www.naturalnews.com/027756_cancer_cure_Big_Pharma.html).

(2) Foods: Hemp seeds and oils are an abundant source of perfectly balanced omega-6, omega-3, and omega-9 fatty acids. The high level of essential protein amino acids hemp offers provides a more bio-available complete protein than most all other protein sources, plant or animal. [3]

(3) Clothing: Cloth from hemp is tougher and allows for better ventilation than even cotton. You can buy hemp clothing today. Legalizing hemp would lower the costs of the imports of hemp fibers.

(4) Plastics: Around 1940, Henry Ford built a “vegetable car” with mostly hemp fibers, not including the drive train of course. The body was so strong two men with sledgehammers and axes couldn’t harm it. [4]

Properly produced hemp plastics are 100 percent biodegradable and can replace all current petroleum based chemically infested plastics. [5]

(5) Building materials: Several types of building materials, stronger and lighter than wood and concrete with better insulation properties have actually been used recently for housing. [2 – video] [5]

(6) Paper: Instead of deforesting for wood to mill paper with harsh chemicals, a process that manifests countless ecological problems, hemp fibers could be used for paper. It had been used for paper before wood pulp processing. And the paper’s quality is considered superior by many.

(7) Agriculture: Hemp is a hardy plant requiring little water and no synthetic fertilizers or herbicides. It’s a perfect rotation crop because it boosts soil health. In a relatively warm temperate climates, it can be planted and harvested twice a year.

Because it’s easy to grow and harvest with less overhead, it’s also a perfect cash crop for struggling small farms. Kentucky senator Rand Paul is pushing for a bill to legalize industrial hemp growth. It’s already happening in Colorado (http://www.naturalnews.com).