Solar Minimum Madness: Is Thanksgiving’s Winter Wonderland A Preview Of The Bitterly Cold Winter To Come?

This week, three major winter storms will batter most of the country with ice, snow and bitterly cold temperatures just in time for Thanksgiving.  It is being projected that 55 million Americans will be traveling this week, and so this bizarre weather comes at a very bad time.  But of course we have already seen a series of blizzards roar across the nation in recent weeks and hundreds of record cold temperatures have already been shattered and we are still about a month away from the official start of winter.  Normally, it isn’t supposed to be this cold or this snowy yet, but we don’t live in “normal” times.

Scientists tell us that solar activity becomes very quiet during a “solar minimum”, and when solar activity becomes very quiet we tend to have very cold winters.  And in recent months solar activity has been very, very low.  In fact, we haven’t seen any sunspots at all “since November 2”

We have not seen any sunspots since November 2, and at that time they were only visible for two days, and prior to that no sunspots since October 2.

Unless things change, and that is not expected to happen, we should prepare for a very cold and very snowy winter.  And this upcoming week is likely to be a preview of coming attractions.  According to CNN, holiday travelers will have three major winter storms to deal with…

As Thanksgiving week starts, a record number of travelers will be dealing with three storms nationwide that will add to the holiday stress.

One storm will lash the East and will affect travel through Sunday, another one will batter the Midwest on Tuesday and a third one will move through the West on Wednesday.

Forecasters are telling us that Denver could receive a foot of snow, but it isn’t too unusual for Denver to get a lot of snow.

But it is unusual for Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to get snow this time of the year, and apparently it looks like that could happen on Wednesday

By Wednesday Arizona could see snow, as could New Mexico, the northern Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle.

As that storm moves through the Midwest, “winterlike travel” is expected over large portions of the heartland…

“At this time, enough snow to create winterlike travel is anticipated from central and northeastern Colorado to much of Nebraska, northern Kansas, much of Iowa, northwestern Missouri, northwestern Illinois, southeastern Minnesota, central and eastern Wisconsin and northern Michigan,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

Forecasters expect Tuesday into Wednesday to bring the worst conditions in the Midwest, with strong, gusty winds battering such key airports as Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

Shortly thereafter, an absolutely massive winter storm is going to hit California really hard, and we are being told that “travel may be impossible” in certain areas…

Winter storm watches have already been issued for the Sierra and the National Weather Service is saying travel may be impossible as snow levels drop which could lead to numerous road closures Wednesday into Thursday.

Several feet is forecast to snow in the mountains. In the lower elevations and along the coast, it will be rain with the possibility of totals reaching 5 inches.

This definitely is not normal.

In some parts of the country, it feels like winter already arrived more than a month ago.  This has had a huge impact on harvest season, and unusually cold temperatures could also make things extremely difficult for farmers that plan to grow crops this winter.  The following comes from Martin Armstrong

The BIG FREEZE is upon us. The volatility in weather that our computer has been forecasting on a long-term basis should result in this winter being colder than the last. In Britain, the snow has hit an already flood-ravaged country as temperatures plunged to -7C. This is part of the problem we face. The ground freezes down and this prevents winter crops. During the late 1700s, the ground froze to a depth of 2 feet according to John Adams.

And over in Scotland, it is being projected that this could be “the coldest winter for 10 years”

SCOTLAND is forecast the coldest winter for 10 years – with -13C lows, snow, ice and travel woes, with a weak sun and Arctic chills blamed.

The worst winter since 2009-10 is due as the sun is at the weakest point of its 11-year cycle of strength, said The Weather Company, the world’s biggest commercial forecaster.

The last time the sun’s power was as low as now, Scotland saw the bitter 2009-10 winter, Britain’s coldest winter since the 1970s, and the 2010 Big Freeze, with the coldest December ever recorded.

We are witnessing bizarrely cold weather all over the northern hemisphere, but most people don’t understand why this is happening.

More than anything else, solar activity determines whether conditions are going to be warmer or colder than normal.  So this is why the Farmers’ Almanac and the Old Farmer’s Almanac are both telling us that this winter will be bitterly cold and very snowy

Not long after the Farmers’ Almanac suggested it would be a “freezing, frigid, and frosty” season, the *other* Farmer’s Almanac has released its annual weather forecast—and it’s equally upsetting.

While the first publication focused on the cold temperatures anticipated this winter, the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that excessive snowfall will be the most noteworthy part of the season.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which was founded in 1792, says that the upcoming winter “will be remembered for strong storms” featuring heavy rain, sleet, and a lot of snow. The periodical actually used the word “snow-verload” to describe the conditions we can expect in the coming months.

Scientists are hoping that solar activity will return to normal soon, but there is no guarantee that will happen.  In fact, in a recent article I explained that some experts believe that we may have entered a “grand solar minimum” similar to the Maunder Minimum that created a “mini ice age” in the 17th century.  The sunspot cycle virtually vanished from 1645 to 1715, and this resulted in bitterly cold temperatures, disastrous harvests and famines that killed millions upon millions of people all over the globe.

Hopefully things will not get that bad any time soon, but without a doubt we live at a time when global weather patterns are going absolutely haywire.  We should be hoping for the best, but we should also be preparing for the worst.

This week, the crazy weather will be a major headache for holiday travelers, but that is just a temporary problem.  If solar activity does not return to normal over the next few years, we will soon have far larger issues to deal with.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.

Due To The Weather, Midwest Farmers Fear Widespread Crop Failures And A “Record-Low” Harvest In 2019

Snow usually blankets the Upper Midwest around the first week of November, and so that means that many farmers in the Midwest only have about two weeks to salvage what they can before everything is lost.  The unprecedented October blizzard that we just witnessed dumped massive amounts of snow on millions upon millions of acres of crops from Colorado to Minnesota.  Even if the weather is absolutely perfect between now and November 1st, farmers are still “expecting massive crop losses”. In fact, one South Dakota lawmaker told the press that the crop losses will be “as devastating as we’ve ever seen”.  And as you will see below, even parts of the Midwest that didn’t get hammered by the recent blizzard are potentially facing “record-low” harvests this year.  We have never seen a year this bad for Midwest farmers in modern American history, but if the weather does not cooperate things could rapidly get much, much worse over the next two weeks.

Because of all the rain and flooding earlier in the year, many Midwest farmers faced serious delays in getting their crops planted, and so they were counting on good weather at the end of the season so that their crops could fully mature.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and the recent Midwest blizzard was definitely a nightmare scenario

Wall Street Journal writers Jacob Bunge and Kirk Maltais reported on Monday that, “Farmers who delayed planting in waterlogged fields this spring face a new threat as they race to harvest their crops: snow.

Heavy snowfall and high winds over the past several days buffeted northern Farm Belt states where many farmers faced historic planting delays last spring. The early blizzard bookended a trying year for U.S. farmers. Crop prices generally remain under pressure because of high supplies and slackened demand as a result of the U.S.-China trade war. And many crops now threatened by a freeze are immature because they were planted so late.”

When the snow began blanketing the Dakotas, most of the corn was not even mature yet.  The following numbers originally come from the Wall Street Journal

The Journal writers explained that, “The cold weather is a big threat to vulnerable crops. Only 22% of corn in North Dakota was mature as of Oct. 7, and 36% in South Dakota. In the 18 biggest corn-producing states, 58% of this year’s crop was mature, versus an average of 85% by that date over the previous five years, according to the USDA.

Right now, there are millions upon millions of acres of crops that farmers cannot even get to because of all the snow.

If we do not get some warm weather over the next two weeks, they may not be able to salvage much at all, because winter weather season is rapidly approaching

In normal years, winter weather hits much of the Upper Midwest portion of the Great Plains around the beginning of November, Isane said. After that, it is too late to bring in most crops.

That means, farmers have about two weeks to carry out their harvest — or lose it.

Essentially, we are potentially facing a crisis unlike anything we have ever seen before.

The next two weeks will determine whether many Midwest farmers make a paycheck for the year or not, and so at this point “the stress level is off the charts for these guys”

“Nobody really knows what will happen because we don’t know what the weather will be,” said Luther Markwart, the executive vice president of the American Sugarbeet Growers Association. Most of the sugarbeets in the country are grown in the Great Plains area that was hit by last week’s blizzard.

“So, the stress level is off the charts for these guys,” Markwart said. “Just think if your entire year’s paycheck was made in the next two weeks — or not.”

The Wall Street Journal and a few other mainstream news outlets are reporting on this, but most mainstream news sources are so obsessed with reporting on President Trump 24 hours a day that they are completely missing this story so far.

And even without the recent blizzard we were still facing very serious crop failures across the Midwest.  Most parts of Michigan didn’t really get hammered by the recent blizzard, but it is being reported that farmers in Michigan “could see record-lows in their crops in 2019″…

Michigan farmers could see record-lows in their crops in 2019, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture October Crop Production Report.

According to the USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), Michigan farmers will be bracing for a rough harvest due to extremely variable crop conditions, wide-ranging stages of crop maturity and muddy fields.

A lot of people don’t seem to understand that if farmers don’t grow our food, we don’t get to eat.

So is anyone out there willing to dramatically reduce the amount of food that they will eat in 2020 so that everyone else will have enough?

Because what we are facing is not pretty.  According to the report that I just quoted, soybean production in Michigan this year will be down 31 percent

The soybean production in Michigan was projected at 75.7 million bushels, a 31% decrease from last year and the lowest since 2008.

And actually the numbers in the Dakotas will be far, far worse than that if farmers are not able to get out into their fields over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, the African Swine Fever crisis over in China continues to escalate.  The following very alarming information comes to us from Zero Hedge

In a report on Monday, we detailed how pork spot prices have soared across China as the African Swine Fever has killed 50% of the country’s hog population. The price increase (as ‘pig ebola’ spreads) has already pushed up consumer inflation to a six-year high. Now analysts are telling Reuters on Tuesday that pork prices are expected to move significantly higher through year-end.

New data published Monday from the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China showed the pig-apocalypse continues to get worse.

Retail pork prices in the country have jumped 84% from last year to $2.78 a pound.

Needless to say, this crisis is pushing up pork prices all over the globe, and what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

We are entering a season of time that will be unlike anything we have ever seen before (#ad).  Here in the United States, it has always been safe to assume that our supermarkets will always be teeming with plenty of inexpensive food, but now a major shift is happening.

Everyone acknowledges that food prices are going to go up.  The real debate is about how high they will ultimately go.

The next two weeks are absolutely critical.  It is “make or break time” for many Midwest farmers, and they are itching to get out into their fields.

So let us hope that the weather cooperates, because we essentially need a miracle at this point.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

 

Look At This Map – It Shows Devastating Crop Losses Are Literally Happening All Over The Globe


Let me warn you right up front – the information in this article might freak you out.  If what some experts are telling us is true, a global food crisis appears to be inevitable.  Even during good years we have a really difficult time feeding everyone on the planet, and now a major climate shift appears to be happening.  Our sun has become exceedingly quiet, and many experts believe that this is a sign that a solar minimum is now upon us.  Of course we have seen solar minimums happen quite regularly in the past, and if this is just a normal solar minimum then conditions should begin to return to normal after a couple of years.  Unfortunately, evidence continues to mount that we have entered what is known as a “grand solar minimum”.  In fact, Professor Valentina Zharkova says that what we are facing is a “super grand solar minimum”, and if that is true we are going to be facing climate chaos like we have never seen before.  During previous “grand solar minimums” the globe was gripped by devastating famines and vast numbers of people died.  Could a similar scenario potentially be in our future?

Ice Age Farmer has compiled a “Grand Solar Minimum Crop Loss Map” which you can view right here, and I appreciate our friends at ANP for pointing it out to us.  Ice Age Farmer’s map shows that there are literally dozens of locations all over the globe right now that are reporting significant crop losses, and this is really unlike anything we have ever seen before.  Some parts of our planet are dealing with horrific drought, but in the middle of the United States it just won’t stop raining.  In some areas of the world it is too cold, while others are experiencing record heat.  Everywhere we look we see extremes, and the behavior of our sun is the primary reason this is happening.

Last November I warned that we could be facing one of the coldest winters in modern times, and that is precisely what happened.  Back then top scientists were warning us that a solar minimum had arrived, and since that time the behavior of the sun has continued to confirm that hypothesis

The surface of the sun is normally a roiling, super-heated hellscape.

But Nasa images have revealed that the face of our star is looking ominously calm right now, prompting claims it’s reached a stage of its cycle called the solar minimum.

During the minimum, there are significantly fewer sunspots and its magnetic field weakens, allowing cosmic rays from outside our solar system to rain down on Earth.

This solar minimum came early, and that is exactly what we would expect if we were entering a “grand solar minimum”.  Perhaps the best known “grand solar minimum” in our history was the Maunder Minimum which stretched from 1645 to 1715

The last time a deep solar minimum was in effect was the Maunder minimum, which saw seven decades of freezing weather, began in 1645 and lasted through to 1715, and happened when sunspots were exceedingly rare.

During this period, temperatures dropped globally by 1.3 degrees celsius leading to shorter seasons and ultimately food shortages.

The food shortages during the Maunder Minimum were quite severe, and the global death toll was enormous.

Could we be facing a similar scenario this time around?

Actually, economist Martin Armstrong seems to believe that it could be even worse

The Maunder Minimum created such a deep cold in Europe and extreme weather events elsewhere that what unfolds is a series of droughts, floods, and harvest failures. Historically, this leads to massive migrations, wars and revolutions. The fatal synergy between human and natural disasters eradicated perhaps one-third of the human population during the last event and this time we are crashing more rapidly than before. Therefore, we may exceed more than a reduction in population of one-third and reach the levels of the 14th century of 50%, which was also combined with the Black Plague.

Without a doubt, our planet is behaving very strangely right now, and reports of crop failures are regularly coming in from all over the planet.

Just check out these examples

That layer of stress on the agricultural industry is only intensified when you zoom out to the international level, where farmers around the world are facing various dire situations. As one North Dakota farmer and Twitter user Jordan Gackle pointed out in a recent thread: Drought is continuing to disrupt wheat crops in Australia forcing the country to import some of its wheat from Canada. Some farmers in Canada are now reporting long stretches without rain under the hashtag #drought19. Head over to China and you’ll find that a legion of fall armyworms are spreading rapidly and devouring key grain crops.

It is becoming quite clear that food prices are going to rise substantially and that the world is going to produce a lot less food than it normally does this year.

And as I noted earlier, we have a tough time feeding everyone on the planet even during ideal conditions.  Sadly, this even includes the United States

In fact, it’s not just older Americans who are already suffering from hunger and malnourishment, with this 2017 story over at Feeding America reporting that more than 41 million Americans were suffering from hunger daily, including more than 13 million children, with this National Geographic story reporting that 1 out of every 6 Americans aren’t getting enough to eat.

So what will things look like if global food production drops 10 percent, 20 percent or even more?

We have never had to deal with anything like this in modern times, and meanwhile the population of the planet has grown from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7.5 billion today.

We have entered the time of “the perfect storm”, and we are going to start to witness things happen that many people would consider to be unimaginable.

I truly hope that things will not be as bad as some of the experts are suggesting.  But as far as crop failures are concerned, we don’t have to speculate.  They are happening right now all over the planet, and that means that global food supplies are going to get tighter and tighter in the months ahead.

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.

Shocking Before And After Photos Reveal The Truth About The Widespread Crop Failures The U.S. Is Facing In 2019

Torrential rains have been hammering the heartland of America for months, and at this point vast stretches of farmland in the middle of the country are nothing but mud.  As a result of the endless rain and unprecedented flooding that we have witnessed, millions of acres of farmland will have nothing planted on them at all in 2019, and that is a major national crisis.  But most farmers were able to get seeds planted in the deplorable conditions, and now they are desperately hoping that something will actually grow.  Unfortunately, on farm after farm what is coming out of the ground looks absolutely terrible.  Even if we get ideal weather conditions for the rest of the summer, there is no way that many of these fields will be ready before the first hard frost arrives.  As you will see below, the truth is that we are potentially facing the most widespread crop failures in all of U.S. history.

This is the biggest news story in America so far this year, and the mainstream media is finally starting to understand the gravity of what we are facing.  Just consider the following quote from a recent Quartz article

The stories across the Midwest are wrenching. Scrolling through the #NoPlant19  hashtag turns up dozens of posts about farmers staring out at soggy fields or farm equipment foundering in deep mud. It’s likely many will see their harvests devastated this year, and global grain prices could spike.

But of course a picture is worth a thousand words, and so let me share a before and after photo that a farming couple in Indiana named Kyle and Tori Kline recently shared on Facebook…

According to Tori, the corn was almost above Kyle’s head at this time last year, but today it is barely out of the ground…

“These two pictures speaks volumes to the crisis American Farmers are facing this spring. Kyle is about 6’3” and the corn was nearly above his head. Most corn around our area is lucky to be out of the ground, let alone knee high. It’s just some food for thought for those who think farmers are “rich” or “greedy” or what have you. It’s the reason food and gas prices will be getting higher as the summer goes on. I pray for those who didn’t or still haven’t gotten their crops in – for their safety and mental health. This year will be one to remember.”

Do you think that corn is going to be ready when harvest time rolls around?

And of course the Klines are far from alone.  All over the nation, farmers are facing either dramatically reduced yields or no harvest at all.

Let me share four more extremely disturbing before and after photos that were recently posted to Facebook by TD Hale

We have never seen anything like this before.

Now that you have seen these pictures, are you starting to understand why so many of us have been warning that U.S. agricultural production is going to be way, way down this year?

Corn is not supposed to grow in mud, but due to the horrific weather conditions many farmers in the middle of the country had absolutely no choice in the matter.  For example, corn farmer Scott Labig confessed that he was “ashamed” of what the nightmarish weather conditions forced him to do…

Labig was doing something he had never done in his career. Something his father and his grandfather never did either in their time working this same land for the last century.

“I am ashamed of how I am planting corn today,” Labig told Campbell on the phone. “This is terrible.”

He was putting seeds into mud. How could things actually grow in this mess?

If you do not live in the middle of the country, you may have a difficult time grasping the true scope of what we are potentially facing.

If farmers do not grow our food, we do not eat.  This is not a drill, and widespread crop failures are going to have dramatic implications for all of us in the months ahead.  Food prices are going much higher, and I urge you to get prepared while you still can.

According to John Newton, the chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation, we have never faced “anything like this since I’ve been working in agriculture”.  We are truly in unprecedented territory already, and it won’t take very much at all to turn 2019 into a complete and utter national catastrophe.

If the weather is absolutely perfect for the next few months, 2019 will still be a horrible, horrible year for farmers in the middle of the country.

But if the rain doesn’t stop, or if there is too much heat, or if a very early hard frost happens, we could be facing a national nightmare that is beyond what most of us would even dare to imagine.

And guess what?  Over the weekend the middle of the country was pounded by even more severe storms

Hundreds of people were without power in Missouri and Kansas on Sunday as storms ripped through the area, prompting officials to warn drivers to remain off the roads as flash flood warnings were in effect.

Until 8:45 a.m. central time, a flash flood warning was in effect in Missouri’s Trenton, Bethany and Gallatin cities, according to the National Weather Service, while such warnings were in effect until 8:30 a.m. central time in Saint Joseph, Atchison and Savannah.

Just when you think that this crisis cannot possibly get any worse, it does.

Please share this article with your family, friends and those that you care about.  People need to understand what is going on out there.

We are literally watching a massive national crisis unfold right in front of our eyes, and I will do my best to continue to keep you updated.

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.

Drought Of 2011: The Southern United States Is Desperate For Rain As The Middle Part Of The Country Continues To Get Scorched

2011 sure has been a wild year for America so far.  First we had unprecedented tornado outbreaks, then we had horrific flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, then we had record setting wildfires and now we are facing a crippling drought all over the southern United States.  From Arizona all the way to Georgia there are vast areas that have been declared to be experiencing “exceptional drought” by the National Weather Service.  Crop failures are widespread and ranchers are having a very difficult time trying to feed their cattle.  If the southern United States does not receive a significant amount of rain soon, the drought of 2011 is going to be one of biggest natural disasters that we have seen in a long, long time.

Right now, approximately 29 percent of the country is experiencing some level of drought.  About 12 percent of the U.S. is experiencing “exceptional drought”, which is the highest level of drought.  The combination of very little rain and scorching heat over much of the nation has been absolutely devastating.  Many areas have been dealing with high temperatures in the 90s and the low triple digits for weeks.

Between October and June, the state of Texas experienced one of the driest stretches ever recorded.  Already, the drought of 2011 is considered to be the third-worst drought ever experienced in Texas.

Currently, approximately 72 percent of the state of Texas is dealing with “exceptional drought” conditions.  It has been estimated that 30 percent of the wheat fields in Texas will be lost.  Agricultural losses from the drought of 2011 are projected to be $3 billion in the state of Texas alone.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already designated all 254 counties in the state of Texas as natural disaster areas.  The farmers and ranchers down there are going through hell right now.

But Texas is not alone.  Most of Arizona, all of New Mexico, all of Oklahoma, most of Arkansas, all of Louisiana, most of Mississippi, most of Alabama, most of Georgia, most of Florida, most of South Carolina and most of North Carolina are also dealing with drought conditions.

This drought is hitting many of our most significant agricultural areas.  If we don’t get a significant amount of rain in some of these areas soon the losses are going to be catastrophic.

At this point, Oklahoma has just had 28 percent of the rainfall that it normally gets during the summer.  Many other areas are experiencing similar problems.

Just check out the map below.  The areas that are the darkest are the areas that are experiencing “exceptional drought”….

Needless to say, the drought of 2011 is absolutely devastating a lot of hard working farmers and ranchers.

A recent article posted on CNBC described some of the effects that this drought is having on farmers….

“The heat and the drought are so bad in this southwest corner of Georgia that hogs can barely eat. Corn, a lucrative crop with a notorious thirst, is burning up in fields. Cotton plants are too weak to punch through soil so dry it might as well be pavement.”

So what is going to happen if this drought continues for the rest of the summer?

Ranchers are also having a very hard time right now.  All over Texas, as pastures die off ranchers are selling their herds because soon they will not be able to feed them any longer.

Right now cattle are being slaughtered in record numbers due to the drought.  But after all of these cattle are gone will we be facing a cattle shortage?

Thanks to the recent wildfires and the tremendous drought, it is getting very difficult for ranchers to feed their cattle.  Just check out the following statistics from a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor….

Most Texas pasture and range lands – 86 percent – are currently “poor” or “very poor,” according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The same rating applied to 69 percent of Oklahoma and 40 percent of Kansas.

During this month, high temperatures of over 110 degrees have been very common in cattle country.  There is not enough for these cattle to eat and there is not enough for these cattle to drink.  If things do not turn around soon, even more ranchers will be racing to sell off their herds while they still can.

But it is not just cattle that are being devastated by this drought.  Just check out what this drought is doing to deer….

Pregnant does are having problems carrying fawns to term, and most of them born prematurely aren’t surviving, according to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Other does are abandoning their newborns because drought-induced malnutrition has robbed them of their ability to produce milk.

Abandoned fawns found all over the Panhandle and South Plains have been brought to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Ten had been brought to the Lubbock wildlife center by the end of last week.

This drought has also had some other dramatic effects.

For example, a gigantic “wall of dust” recently rolled through Phoenix, Arizona.  Take a moment and watch the video posted below.  Does this remind anyone else of the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s?….

In economic terms, the drought of 2011 could end up having a huge impact on average American families.

Ultimately, American consumers are likely going to feel some significant pain from this crisis as a recent CNBC article noted….

That means grocery shoppers will feel the effects of the drought at the dinner table, where the cost of staples like meat and bread will most likely rise, said Michael J. Roberts, an associate professor of agricultural and resource economics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. “The biggest losers are consumers,” he said.

All of this wouldn’t be so alarming if we were not already on the verge of a global food crisis.  Global food prices continue to hover around record highs.  Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya are experiencing the worst drought conditions that they have seen in 60 years.  Tonight there are 10 million people living in the Horn of Africa that are facing severe food shortages.  Hunger and starvation are spreading again in east Africa and in many other areas of the world as well.

That is one reason why so many Americans are working so hard to prepare for disaster right now.  All over the United States (and around the world), “preppers” are storing up food and supplies in case things go really bad.

Some Americans are taking things to extreme levels.  For example, a man named Steven Huff is constructing a 72,000 square foot “home” (some call it a fortress) in Missouri.  Huff is the chairman of Wisconsin-based TF Concrete Forming Systems.  Apparently the goal is to show off what his firm is capable of.  It is claimed that this will be “a home that uses very low energy, as well as having strong resistance to tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fire, flood and insect damage”.

It kind of looks like a castle to me.  You can see a picture of this remarkable “home” right here.

Unfortunately, most of us cannot afford to build 72,000 square foot fortresses.  So we will just have to do the best that we can with what we already have.

The world is becoming more unstable every single day.  Global financial markets are getting extremely nervous and jumpy.  More chaos or more war could erupt in the Middle East at any time.  Natural disasters continue to get more frequent and more intense.  We certainly do live in interesting times.

It is imperative that we all watch carefully as these global events unfold.  None of us knows for sure what is going to happen next.  But those that are prepared are going to have the best chance to make it through when disaster does strike.

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