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.

 

American Soil Is Being Globalized: Nearly 30 Million Acres Of U.S. Farmland Is Now Owned By Foreigners

All across America, U.S. farmland is being gobbled up by foreign interests.  So when we refer to “the heartland of America”, the truth is that vast stretches of that “heartland” is now owned by foreigners, and most Americans have no idea that this is happening.  These days, a lot of people are warning about the “globalization” of the world economy, but in reality our own soil is rapidly being “globalized”.  When farms are locally owned, the revenue that those farms take in tends to stay in local communities.  But with foreign-owned farms there is no guarantee that will happen.  And while there is plenty of food to go around this is not a major concern, but what happens when a food crisis erupts and these foreign-owned farms just keep sending their produce out of the country?  There are some very serious national security concerns here, and they really aren’t being addressed.  Instead, the amount of farmland owned by foreigners just continues to increase with each passing year.

Prior to seeing the headline to this article, how much U.S. farmland would you have guessed that foreigners now own?

Personally, I had no idea that foreigners now own nearly 30 million acres.  The following comes from NPR

American soil.

Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities.

How did we allow this to happen?

And actually laws regarding land ownership vary greatly from state to state.  Some states have placed strict restrictions on foreign land ownership, while in other states it is “a free-for-all”

“Texas is kind of a free-for-all, so they don’t have a limit on how much land can be owned,” say’s Ohio Farm Bureau’s Ty Higgins, “You look at Iowa and they restrict it — no land in Iowa is owned by a foreign entity.”

Ohio, like Texas, also has no restrictions, and nearly half a million acres of prime farmland are held by foreign-owned entities. In the northwestern corner of the state, below Toledo, companies from the Netherlands alone have purchased 64,000 acres for wind farms.

But even in states where there are restrictions, foreign entities can get around that by simply buying large corporations that own land.

For example, when the Chinese purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 they instantly gained control over 146,000 acres of prime farmland.  The following comes from Wikipedia

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world.[4] In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs.[5] Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom.[6] Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion.[2] Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.[7]

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value.[8][9] It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date.[10] The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in Luohe, Henan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.[a]

Of course this hasn’t happened by accident.

The communist Chinese government has actually made the purchase of foreign agricultural assets a top national priority in recent years, and this has been reflected in a series of key documents

The strategy is reflected in encouragements to invest abroad by various documents and articles issued by Chinese leaders. For example, a series of annual “Number one documents” from China’s communist party authorities stating rural policy have contained increasingly specific strategies for investment. A general exhortation to invest in agriculture overseas, issued in 2007, was followed by an initial surge in overseas farming ventures. In 2010, authorities called for supportive policies to encourage investment abroad.

The 2014 document included a more specific mandate to create large grain-trading conglomerates, designed to give Chinese companies greater control over oilseed and grain imports. That was the same year COFCO acquired Nidera and Noble Agri, making COFCO one of the largest trading companies in the world based on value of assets. The 2015 document specifically called for policies to support facilities, equipment, and inputs for agricultural production in foreign countries. The 2017 document broadened the encouragement to include all types of agricultural conglomerates. The 2018 document repeated the general endorsement of overseas investment and instructions to create multinational grain-trading and agricultural conglomerates.

In the end, how much Chinese ownership of our farmland would we be comfortable with?

If they owned 20 percent of our farmland, would we be okay with that?

Well, what if that figure surged to 30 or 40 percent?

Would that still be okay?

We need to start asking these sorts of questions, because foreigners are buying up more of our farmland with each passing day, and this is a very real national security threat.

And after this absolutely disastrous year, thousands more U.S. farmers will be forced out of business and it is anticipated that more U.S. farmland will be up for sale than ever before.

I extensively discussed the problems that farmers in the middle of the country are currently having yesterday, and today I would like to share with you a portion of an email that a friend in Missouri just sent me…

I work for a farmer in West-Central Missouri who raises corn, soybeans, and cattle and to say it’s been a challenging Spring would be the understatement of the year!!! We managed to get some corn planted in April but it started to rain and rain and rain and we still have more corn to plant. My boss doesn’t like to plant corn after May 15 and here it is May 27 and we still are not done planting corn. With each late day that passes by the yield goes down so what do you do??? Do we start planting soybeans if or when it dries up even though the price of soybeans is at a record low or do we plant corn that has risen in price but will have a reduced yield??? From April 28 through today (May 27) we have had 10 inches of rain. One day we had 4.5 inches with roads and basements flooded. Last week we had rain 4 out of those 7 days!!! It’s raining again today as I write this!!! We need warm, sunshine, dry, windy days and we get mostly cool, cloudy, rainy days. Next Thursdays low is supposed to be 57!!! If the weather pattern doesn’t change I don’t see how we can ever get the soybeans planted and we have 1,300 acres to plant. There are large farmers in my area that don’t have anything planted.

This truly is a “perfect storm” for U.S. farmers, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Farm bankruptcies are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession, and do we really want foreigners gobbling up even more of our farmland from farmers that are incredibly desperate to sell?

Our founders never intended for America to be for sale to the highest bidder, and hopefully more states will start passing laws that will make sure that U.S. farms stay in the hands of U.S. farmers.

Get Prepared NowAbout 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.

 

Crop Catastrophe In The Midwest – Latest USDA Crop Progress Report Indicates That A Nightmare Scenario Is Upon Us

The last 12 months have been the wettest in all of U.S. history, and this has created absolutely horrific conditions for U.S. farmers.  Thanks to endless rain and historic flooding that has stretched on for months, many farmers have not been able to plant crops at all, and a lot of the crops that have actually been planted are deeply struggling.  What this means is that U.S. agricultural production is going to be way, way down this year.  The numbers that I am about to share with you are deeply alarming, and they should serve as a wake up call for all of us.  The food that each one of us eats every day is produced by our farmers, and right now our farmers are truly facing a nightmare scenario.

You can view the latest USDA crop progress report right here.  According to that report, corn and soybean production is way behind expectations.

Last year, 78 percent of all corn acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number is sitting at just 49 percent.

And the percentage of corn that has emerged from the ground is at a paltry 19 percent compared to 47 percent at this time last year.

We see similar numbers when we look at soybeans.

Last year, 53 percent of all soybean acreage had been planted by now.  This year, that number has fallen to 19 percent.

And the percentage of soybeans that have emerged from the ground is just 5 percent compared to 24 percent at this time last year.

In other words, we are going to have a whole lot less corn and soybeans this year.

Farmers in the middle of the country desperately need conditions to dry out for an extended period of time, but so far that has not happened.

In fact, last week the heartland was hit by yet another string of devastating storms.  The following comes from CNN

Ten people are dead and a 4 year-old boy remains missing after more than a week of severe weather across the central US that put tens of millions of people at risk.

The deadly spring storm system ravaged several states, unleashing more than 170 reported tornadoes, fierce winds, drenching rain, flash flooding and hail.

One of the tornadoes that was spawned absolutely devastated the capital city of Missouri.  It was reportedly a mile wide, and it stayed on the ground for almost 20 miles

A clearer picture emerged Friday of the size and scope of the powerful tornadoes that tore across Missouri on Wednesday night, leaving a trail of destruction in their paths. The state’s capital, Jefferson City, was among the hardest-hit places, struck overnight by a tornado with a peak wind speed of 160 mph that has been given preliminary rating of EF3.

The monstrous nighttime tornado that struck Jefferson City, a city with a population of about 42,000, was almost a mile wide and was on the ground for nearly 20 miles, toppling homes, ripping roofs off homes and business below.

What we are witnessing is definitely not “normal”, and I have had a number of readers write to me about this recently.  The other day one of my readers in Montana sent me a photograph of a freak May snowstorm that had just hit his area, and another one of my readers in Missouri explained that his boss is freaking out because they haven’t been able to get soybeans in the ground.  All over the country people want answers, and they are frustrated with the lack of information that they are getting from the mainstream media.

Unfortunately, the truth is that things are going to get worse.  Global weather patterns are dramatically shifting, and there is nothing that the authorities will be able to do to stop it from happening.

And it isn’t just in the United States where we are seeing widespread crop failures.  I would encourage you to check out my previous article entitled “Floods And Drought Devastate Crops All Over The Planet – Could A Global Food Crisis Be Coming?”  In that article I discussed the fact that Australia will actually be importing lots of wheat this year, but normally it is one of the largest exporters of wheat in the entire world.  As crops fail all over the globe, there will be a scramble for food, and the wealthy western nations have more money than anyone else.

Over in Asia, the biggest problem right now is African Swine Flu.  Earlier today, I came across a CNBC article which stated that “up to 200 million Chinese pigs” may have already been lost to this nightmarish disease…

A trade fight with the U.S. isn’t the only war China is fighting. African swine flu has decimated the pig population in China and sent pork prices soaring. As many as up to 200 million Chinese pigs have reportedly been lost due to the disease.

Now, Wall Street analysts are scrambling to assess the fallout from the fast spreading illness and how to invest around it.

The entire U.S. pork industry does not even produce 200 million pigs in an entire year.

So another way of looking at this is that the equivalent of what the entire U.S. pork industry produces in an entire year has just been wiped out.

And now African Swine Flu has spread to other countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia, and so this pandemic could soon become a true global cataclysm.

We have never seen so many massive threats hit the global food supply simultaneously, and if this article deeply alarms you that is a good thing.

A perfect storm is rapidly developing, and many expect global events to start accelerating dramatically.

Get Prepared NowAbout 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.

The Colorado River, The High Plains Aquifer And The Entire Western Half Of The U.S. Are Rapidly Drying Up

The Western United States Is Turning Back Into DesertWhat is life going to look like as our precious water resources become increasingly strained and the western half of the United States becomes bone dry?  Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the country in 1000 years, and now things appear to be reverting to their normal historical patterns.  But we have built teeming cities in the desert such as Phoenix and Las Vegas that support millions of people.  Cities all over the Southwest continue to grow even as the Colorado River, Lake Mead and the High Plains Aquifer system run dry.  So what are we going to do when there isn’t enough water to irrigate our crops or run through our water systems?  Already we are seeing some ominous signs that Dust Bowl conditions are starting to return to the region.  In the past couple of years we have seen giant dust storms known as “haboobs” roll through Phoenix, and 6 of the 10 worst years for wildfires ever recorded in the United States have all come since the year 2000.  In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the average number of fires larger than 1,000 acres in a year has nearly quadrupled in Arizona and Idaho and has doubled in every other Western state” since the 1970s.  But scientists are warning that they expect the western United States to become much drier than it is now.  What will the western half of the country look like once that happens?

A recent National Geographic article contained the following chilling statement…

The wet 20th century, the wettest of the past millennium, the century when Americans built an incredible civilization in the desert, is over.

Much of the western half of the country has historically been a desolate wasteland.  We were very blessed to enjoy very wet conditions for most of the last century, but now that era appears to be over.

To compensate, we are putting a tremendous burden on our fresh water resources.  In particular, the Colorado River is becoming increasingly strained.  Without the Colorado River, many of our largest cities simply would not be able to function.  The following is from a recent Stratfor article

The Colorado River provides water for irrigation of roughly 15 percent of the crops in the United States, including vegetables, fruits, cotton, alfalfa and hay. It also provides municipal water supplies for large cities, such as Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, accounting for more than half of the water supply in many of these areas.

In particular, water levels in Lake Mead (which supplies most of the water for Las Vegas) have fallen dramatically over the past decade or so.  The following is an excerpt from an article posted on Smithsonian.com

And boaters still roar across Nevada and Arizona’s Lake Mead, 110 miles long and formed by the Hoover Dam. But at the lake’s edge they can see lines in the rock walls, distinct as bathtub rings, showing the water level far lower than it once was—some 130 feet lower, as it happens, since 2000. Water resource officials say some of the reservoirs fed by the river will never be full again.

Today, Lake Mead supplies approximately 85 percent of the water that Las Vegas uses, and since 1998 the water level in Lake Mead has dropped by about 5.6 trillion gallons.

So what happens if Lake Mead continues to dry up?

Well, the truth is that it would be a major disaster

Way before people run out of drinking water, something else happens: When Lake Mead falls below 1,050 feet, the Hoover Dam’s turbines shut down – less than four years from now, if the current trend holds – and in Vegas the lights start going out.

Ominously, these water woes are not confined to Las Vegas. Under contracts signed by President Obama in December 2011, Nevada gets only 23.37% of the electricity generated by the Hoover Dam. The other top recipients: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (28.53%); state of Arizona (18.95%); city of Los Angeles (15.42%); and Southern California Edison (5.54%).

You can always build more power plants, but you can’t build more rivers, and the mighty Colorado carries the lifeblood of the Southwest. It services the water needs of an area the size of France, in which live 40 million people. In its natural state, the river poured 15.7 million acre-feet of water into the Gulf of California each year. Today, twelve years of drought have reduced the flow to about 12 million acre-feet, and human demand siphons off every bit of it; at its mouth, the riverbed is nothing but dust.

Nor is the decline in the water supply important only to the citizens of Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. It’s critical to the whole country. The Colorado is the sole source of water for southeastern California’s Imperial Valley, which has been made into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the US despite receiving an average of three inches of rain per year.

 

You hardly ever hear about this on the news, but the reality is that this is a slow-motion train wreck happening right in front of our eyes.

Today, the once mighty Colorado River runs dry about 50 miles north of the sea.  The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Jonathan Waterman about what he found when he went to investigate this…

 

Fifty miles from the sea, 1.5 miles south of the Mexican border, I saw a river evaporate into a scum of phosphates and discarded water bottles. This dirty water sent me home with feet so badly infected that I couldn’t walk for a week. And a delta once renowned for its wildlife and wetlands is now all but part of the surrounding and parched Sonoran Desert. According to Mexican scientists whom I met with, the river has not flowed to the sea since 1998. If the Endangered Species Act had any teeth in Mexico, we might have a chance to save the giant sea bass (totoaba), clams, the Sea of Cortez shrimp fishery that depends upon freshwater returns, and dozens of bird species.

So let this stand as an open invitation to the former Secretary of the Interior and all water buffalos who insist upon telling us that there is no scarcity of water here or in the Mexican Delta. Leave the sprinklered green lawns outside the Aspen conferences, come with me, and I’ll show you a Colorado River running dry from its headwaters to the sea. It is polluted and compromised by industry and agriculture. It is overallocated, drought stricken, and soon to suffer greatly from population growth. If other leaders in our administration continue the whitewash, the scarcity of knowledge and lack of conservation measures will cripple a western civilization built upon water.

 

Further east, the major problem is the drying up of our underground water resources.

In the state of Kansas today, many farmers that used to be able to pump plenty of water to irrigate their crops are discovering that the water underneath their land is now gone.  The following is an excerpt from a recent article in the New York Times

Vast stretches of Texas farmland lying over the aquifer no longer support irrigation. In west-central Kansas, up to a fifth of the irrigated farmland along a 100-mile swath of the aquifer has already gone dry. In many other places, there no longer is enough water to supply farmers’ peak needs during Kansas’ scorching summers.

And when the groundwater runs out, it is gone for good. Refilling the aquifer would require hundreds, if not thousands, of years of rains.

So what is going to happen to “the breadbasket of the world” as this underground water continues to dry up?

Most Americans have never even heard of the Ogallala Aquifer, but it is one of our most important natural resources.  It is one of the largest sources of fresh water on the entire planet, and farmers use water from the Ogallala Aquifer to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year.  It covers more than 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota.

Unfortunately, today it is being drained dry at a staggering rate.  The following are a few statistics about this from one of my previous articles

1. The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie” has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.

3. Decades ago, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is gone completely.

So exactly what do we plan to do once the water is gone?

We won’t be able to grow as many crops and we will not be able to support such large cities in the Southwest.

If we have a few more summers of severe drought that are anything like last summer, we are going to be staring a major emergency in the face very rapidly.

If you live in the western half of the country, you might want to start making plans for the future, because our politicians sure are not.

30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The Planet

30 Facts About The Coming Water Crisis That Will Change The Lives Of Every Person On The PlanetThe world is rapidly running out of clean water. Some of the largest lakes and rivers on the globe are being depleted at a very frightening pace, and many of the most important underground aquifers that we depend on to irrigate our crops will soon be gone. At this point, approximately 40 percent of the entire population of the planet has little or no access to clean water, and it is being projected that by 2025 two-thirds of humanity will live in “water-stressed” areas. But most Americans are not too concerned about all of this because they assume that North America has more fresh water than anyone else does. And actually they would be right about that, but the truth is that even North America is rapidly running out of water and it is going to change all of our lives. Today, the most important underground water source in America, the Ogallala Aquifer, is rapidly running dry. The most important lake in the western United States, Lake Mead, is rapidly running dry. The most important river in the western United States, the Colorado River, is rapidly running dry. Putting our heads in the sand and pretending that we are not on the verge of an absolutely horrific water crisis is not going to make it go away. Without water, you cannot grow crops, you cannot raise livestock and you cannot support modern cities. As this global water crisis gets worse, it is going to affect every single man, woman and child on the planet. I encourage you to keep reading and learn more.

The U.S. intelligence community understands what is happening. According to one shocking government report that was released last year, the global need for water will exceed the global supply of water by 40 percent by the year 2030…

This sobering message emerges from the first U.S. Intelligence Community Assessment of Global Water Security. The document predicts that by 2030 humanity’s “annual global water requirements” will exceed “current sustainable water supplies” by forty percent.

Oh, but our scientists will find a solution to our problems long before then, won’t they?

But what if they don’t?

Most Americans tend to think of a “water crisis” as something that happens in very dry places such as Africa or the Middle East, but the truth is that almost the entire western half of the United States is historically a very dry place. The western U.S. has been hit very hard by drought in recent years, and many communities are on the verge of having to make some very hard decisions. For example, just look at what is happening to Lake Mead. Scientists are projecting that Lake Mead has a 50 percent chance of running dry by the year 2025. If that happens, it will mean the end of Las Vegas as we know it. But the problems will not be limited just to Las Vegas. The truth is that if Lake Mead runs dry, it will be a major disaster for that entire region of the country. This was explained in a recent article by Alex Daley

Way before people run out of drinking water, something else happens: When Lake Mead falls below 1,050 feet, the Hoover Dam’s turbines shut down – less than four years from now, if the current trend holds – and in Vegas the lights start going out.

Ominously, these water woes are not confined to Las Vegas. Under contracts signed by President Obama in December 2011, Nevada gets only 23.37% of the electricity generated by the Hoover Dam. The other top recipients: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (28.53%); state of Arizona (18.95%); city of Los Angeles (15.42%); and Southern California Edison (5.54%).

You can always build more power plants, but you can’t build more rivers, and the mighty Colorado carries the lifeblood of the Southwest. It services the water needs of an area the size of France, in which live 40 million people. In its natural state, the river poured 15.7 million acre-feet of water into the Gulf of California each year. Today, twelve years of drought have reduced the flow to about 12 million acre-feet, and human demand siphons off every bit of it; at its mouth, the riverbed is nothing but dust.

Nor is the decline in the water supply important only to the citizens of Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. It’s critical to the whole country. The Colorado is the sole source of water for southeastern California’s Imperial Valley, which has been made into one of the most productive agricultural areas in the US despite receiving an average of three inches of rain per year.

Are you starting to get an idea of just how serious this all is?

But it is not just our lakes and our rivers that are going dry.

We are also depleting our groundwater at a very frightening pace as a recent Science Daily article discussed…

Three results of the new study are particularly striking: First, during the most recent drought in California’s Central Valley, from 2006 to 2009, farmers in the south depleted enough groundwater to fill the nation’s largest human-made reservoir, Lake Mead near Las Vegas — a level of groundwater depletion that is unsustainable at current recharge rates.

Second, a third of the groundwater depletion in the High Plains occurs in just 4% of the land area. And third, the researchers project that if current trends continue some parts of the southern High Plains that currently support irrigated agriculture, mostly in the Texas Panhandle and western Kansas, will be unable to do so within a few decades.

In the United States we have massive underground aquifers that have allowed our nation to be the breadbasket of the world. But once the water from those aquifers is gone, it is gone for good. That is why what is happening to the Ogallala Aquifer is so alarming. The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest sources of fresh water in the world, and U.S. farmers use water from it to irrigate more than 15 million acres of crops each year. The Ogallala Aquifer covers more than 100,000 square miles and it sits underneath the states of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and South Dakota. Most Americans have never even heard of it, but it is absolutely crucial to our way of life. Sadly, it is being drained at a rate that is almost unimaginable.

The following are some facts about the Ogallala Aquifer and the growing water crisis that we are facing in the United States. A number of these facts were taken from one of my previous articles. I think that you will agree that many of these facts are quite alarming…

1. The Ogallala Aquifer is being drained at a rate of approximately 800 gallons per minute.

2. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, “a volume equivalent to two-thirds of the water in Lake Erie” has been permanently drained from the Ogallala Aquifer since 1940.

3. Decades ago, the Ogallala Aquifer had an average depth of approximately 240 feet, but today the average depth is just 80 feet. In some areas of Texas, the water is gone completely.

4. Scientists are warning that nothing can be done to stop the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer. The ominous words of David Brauer of the Ogallala Research Service should alarm us all…

“Our goal now is to engineer a soft landing. That’s all we can do.”

5. According to a recent National Geographic article, the average depletion rate of the Ogallala Aquifer is picking up speed….

Even more worrisome, the draining of the High Plains water account has picked up speed. The average annual depletion rate between 2000 and 2007 was more than twice that during the previous fifty years. The depletion is most severe in the southern portion of the aquifer, especially in Texas, where the water table beneath sizeable areas has dropped 100-150 feet; in smaller pockets, it has dropped more than 150 feet.

6. According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. interior west is now the driest that it has been in 500 years.

7. Wildfires have burned millions of acres of vegetation in the central part of the United States in recent years. For example, wildfires burned an astounding 3.6 million acres in the state of Texas alone during 2011. This helps set the stage for huge dust storms in the future.

8. Unfortunately, scientists tell us that it would be normal for extremely dry conditions to persist in parts of western North America for decades. The following is from an article in the Vancouver Sun

But University of Regina paleoclimatologist Jeannine-Marie St. Jacques says that decade-long drought is nowhere near as bad as it can get.

St. Jacques and her colleagues have been studying tree ring data and, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Vancouver over the weekend, she explained the reality of droughts.

“What we’re seeing in the climate records is these megadroughts, and they don’t last a decade—they last 20 years, 30 years, maybe 60 years, and they’ll be semi-continental in expanse,” she told the Regina Leader-Post by phone from Vancouver.

“So it’s like what we saw in the Dirty Thirties, but imagine the Dirty Thirties going on for 30 years. That’s what scares those of us who are in the community studying this data pool.”

9. Experts tell us that U.S. water bills are likely to soar in the coming years. It is being projected that repairing and expanding our decaying drinking water infrastructure will cost more than one trillion dollars over the next 25 years, and as a result our water bills will likely approximately triple over that time period.

10. Right now, the United States uses approximately 148 trillion gallons of fresh water a year, and there is no way that is sustainable in the long run.

11. According to a U.S. government report, 36 states are already facing water shortages or will be facing water shortages within the next few years.

12. Lake Mead supplies about 85 percent of the water to Las Vegas, and since 1998 the level of water in Lake Mead has dropped by about 5.6 trillion gallons.

13. It has been estimated that the state of California only has a 20 year supply of fresh water left.

14. It has been estimated that the state of New Mexico only has a 10 year supply of fresh water left.

15. Approximately 40 percent of all rivers in the United States and approximately 46 percent of all lakes in the United States have become so polluted that they are are no longer fit for human use.

The 1,450 mile long Colorado River is a good example of what we have done to our precious water supplies. It is probably the most important body of water in the southwestern United States, and it is rapidly dying.

The following is an excerpt from an outstanding article by Jonathan Waterman about how the once mighty Colorado River is rapidly drying up…

Fifty miles from the sea, 1.5 miles south of the Mexican border, I saw a river evaporate into a scum of phosphates and discarded water bottles. This dirty water sent me home with feet so badly infected that I couldn’t walk for a week. And a delta once renowned for its wildlife and wetlands is now all but part of the surrounding and parched Sonoran Desert. According to Mexican scientists whom I met with, the river has not flowed to the sea since 1998. If the Endangered Species Act had any teeth in Mexico, we might have a chance to save the giant sea bass (totoaba), clams, the Sea of Cortez shrimp fishery that depends upon freshwater returns, and dozens of bird species.

So let this stand as an open invitation to the former Secretary of the Interior and all water buffalos who insist upon telling us that there is no scarcity of water here or in the Mexican Delta. Leave the sprinklered green lawns outside the Aspen conferences, come with me, and I’ll show you a Colorado River running dry from its headwaters to the sea. It is polluted and compromised by industry and agriculture. It is overallocated, drought stricken, and soon to suffer greatly from population growth. If other leaders in our administration continue the whitewash, the scarcity of knowledge and lack of conservation measures will cripple a western civilization built upon water.

But of course North America is in far better shape when it comes to fresh water than the rest of the world is.

In fact, in many areas of the world today water has already become the most important issue.

The following are some incredible facts about the global water crisis that is getting even worse with each passing day…

1. Total global water use has quadrupled over the past 100 years, and it is now increasing faster than it ever has been before.

2. Today, there are 1.6 billion people that live in areas of the globe that are considered to be “water-stressed”, and it is being projected that two-thirds of the entire population of the globe will be experiencing “water-stressed” conditions by the year 2025.

3. According to USAID, one-third of the people on earth will be facing “severe” or “chronic” water shortages by the year 2025.

4. Once upon a time, the Aral Sea was the 4th largest freshwater lake in the entire world. At this point, it less than 10 percent the size that it used to be, and it is being projected that it will dry up completely by the year 2020.

5. If you can believe it, the flow of water along the Jordan River is down to only 2 percent of its historic rate.

6. It is being projected that the demand for water in China will exceed the supply by 25 percent by the year 2030.

7. According to the United Nations, the world is going to need at least 30 percent more fresh water by the year 2030.

8. Sadly, it is estimated that approximately 40 percent of the children living in Africa and India have had their growth stunted due to unclean water and malnutrition.

9. Of the 60 million people added to the cities of the world each year, the vast majority of them live in deeply impoverished areas that have no sanitation facilities whatsoever.

10. It has been estimated that 75 percent of all surface water in India has been heavily contaminated by human or agricultural waste.

11. Sadly, according to one UN study on sanitation, far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet.

12. Every 8 seconds, somewhere in the world a child dies from drinking dirty water.

13. Due to a lack of water, Saudi Arabia has given up on trying to grow wheat and will be 100 percent dependent on wheat imports by the year 2016.

14. Each year in northern China, the water table drops by an average of about one meter due to severe drought and overpumping, and the size of the desert increases by an area equivalent to the state of Rhode Island.

15. In China, 80 percent of the major rivers have become so horribly polluted that they do not support any aquatic life at all at this point.

So is there any hope that the coming global water crisis can be averted?

If not, what can we do to prepare?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

Lake Mead Is Drying Up

Dead Crops, Extreme Drought And Endless Wildfires Are Now The New Normal In America

As you read this, the United States is experiencing the worst drought it has seen since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s.  As you read this, nearly half of all corn crops in the United States are in “poor” or “very poor” condition.  As you read this, 38 major wildfires are ripping across the central and western United States.  The brutal wildfires in Oklahoma have been so bad that they have made national headlines.  The price of corn has hit a brand new record high this summer and so has the price of soybeans.  More than half of all the counties in this country have been declared to be “natural disaster areas” by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at this point.  Things are so bad for ranchers that the CEO of Smithfield Foods is projecting that meat prices will rise by “significant double digits” in the months ahead.  Sadly, this drought is projected to continue throughout August and into September.  As you will read about below, some meteorologists are even openly postulating that there may not be enough moisture to avoid another drought next year.  Yes, things are really bad this year, but when you step back and take a look at the broader picture they become truly frightening.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of July 31st close to two-thirds of the continental United States was experiencing at least some level of drought….

Keep in mind that brown is “severe drought”, red is “extreme drought” and dark brown in “exceptional drought”.

This is truly a historic drought.  We have never seen anything like this in modern times in the United States.

The week before, this is how the U.S. Drought Monitor described conditions in the center of the country….

“Over 90 percent of the topsoil was short or very short of moisture in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, with virtually all (99 percent) short or very short in Missouri and Illinois”

There had been some hope that rain would bring relief to farmers in the central part of the country, but instead things just keep getting worse and worse.

At this point, close to half of all corn being grown in the U.S. is either in “poor” or “very poor” condition.

For ranchers, the outlook is even more dismal.  The following is from a recent CNN article….

Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s cattle acreage is now inside a drought-stricken area, as is about two-thirds of the country’s hay acreage, the agency reported.

What that means is that a lot of animals are being slaughtered now and the price of meat is going to be moving substantially higher later in the year.

The following is what the CEO of Smithfield Foods, Larry Pope, recently told the Financial Times….

Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat. Pork is not going to be too far behind. Chicken is catching up fast. Are we really going to take protein away from Americans?

He also told the Financial Times that he expects meat prices to rise by “significant double digits”.

Those are very frightening statements.

The CEO of a major food company says that beef is going to “be too expensive to eat”?

That doesn’t sound good at all.

Meanwhile, this drought is absolutely devastating farmers and ranchers all over the United States….

“When I was a kid in the ’50s … it got real dry, but nothing like this,” said Marvin Helms, a 70-year-old farmer and rancher in central Arkansas who was compelled to sell his beef cattle after being short on feed.

His thousand acres of farmland near Arkadelphia include corn and soybeans, which Helms says is normally sufficient to sustain his family and provide for his cattle.

“We’ve got some insurance on the crops, but it’s not enough,” he said. “It will help, but it won’t pay the bills.”

Of course the federal government is going to step in and try to help these farmers and ranchers, but the truth is that the federal government is already drowning in debt.  Any additional help will have to be done with more borrowed money.

It is hard to describe how oppressive the heat and the drought have been in the middle part of the nation this year.  We have seen some unprecedented things happen.

Another major problem throughout the central part of the country right now is all of the horrible wildfires that are ravaging the wilderness areas.  The following is from a recent Chicago Tribune article about the recent fires in Oklahoma….

Wildfires burned out of control on Friday in Oklahoma, destroying homes and shutting down highways in a state that has suffered 18 straight days of 100-plus degree temperatures and persistent drought.

Emergency officials counted 11 different wildfires around the state, with at least 65 homes destroyed in parched areas north and south of Oklahoma City and south of Tulsa.

Oklahoma joins several states that have been plagued by wildfires this summer, including Colorado, Arkansas and Nebraska. Fires are being fed by a widespread drought.

But these fires in Oklahoma are only part of a very distressing long-term trend.  As I have written about previously, 6 of the 10 worst years for wildfires ever recorded in the United States have all come since the year 2000.

Another major change that we have seen is that massive dust storms called “haboobs” are becoming much more frequent in the southwest part of the country.

Just the other day, a dust storm that was approximately 2,000 feet high and nearly 100 kilometers wide ripped through the city of Phoenix, Arizona at 35 miles an hour.

Such events were once very rare in Phoenix.

But not anymore.

Meanwhile, much of the central and western United States is rapidly running out of water.

And I am not just talking about surface water.

A lot of the key aquifers that have allowed us to build cities and irrigate crops in the western half of the United States are being drained completely dry.  The following is from a recent San Diego Union-Tribune article about what is happening in California….

Few places in Southern California is that more evident than the desert sands of Borrego Springs, where residents, farmers and golf course operators are sucking about four times as much water from the ground each year as nature replaces.

They’ve been pumping so hard for so long that the community’s main aquifer could essentially run dry after a few more decades. That’s a dire possibility: A recent study showed it would be prohibitively expensive to build a pipeline to an outside source.

Did you catch that last part?

The truth is that someday entire cities may have to be abandoned because it will be “prohibitively expensive” to build water pipelines stretching hundreds of miles to bring them water.

Sadly, this is not just happening in California.  This kind of thing is going on all over the nation….

Similar concerns are bubbling up along San Diego County’s backcountry and across the nation — particularly in places such as the Central Valley and the Great Plains, where residents have dug deep to withstand a drought that has squeezed the nation’s midsection dry.

“It took Mother Nature in some cases thousands of years to accumulate the water in the aquifers, but we are pumping it out in mere decades,” said Robert Glennon, a law professor and water expert at the University of Arizona. “It’s a huge national and international problem. … It is utterly unsustainable and scary.”

I have previously written about how the largest underground water source in the United States, the Ogallala Aquifer, is being drained at an almost unbelievable pace.  You can read my previous report about the Ogallala Aquifer right here.

So even when this summer ends our problems will be far, far from over.

But right now the most immediate concern is the condition of our corn and our soybeans.

Corn is found in about 74 percent of the products we buy in the supermarket, and it is used to feed livestock all over the country.

In addition, the United States exports more food to the rest of the world than anyone else does.

So if our crops fail that is a very big deal.

Right now, it is being reported that this drought “will likely cost the U.S. food export industry billions in lost revenue.”

Considering the fact that the “employment rate” in the United States is lower than it was during the last recession and that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a horrible long-term economic decline, this is the last thing that we need.

And what happens to all of the countries that are depending on us for food?

A recent Wired article had this startling headline….

U.S. Drought Could Cause Global Unrest

When people cannot feed their families, they tend to lose it.

Unfortunately, this year might just be the beginning.

According to a recent article in the Guardian, some scientists say that the drought has been so bad this year that it is going to take a “freak event” to avoid catastrophic damage to next year’s corn crops….

What matters now is whether there will be enough rain to get next year’s crops off to a good start.

“This drought isn’t going anywhere,” he said. “The damage is already done. What you are looking for is enough moisture to avert a second year of drought,” he said.

However, Svoboda conceded that might require a freak event, especially in the mid-west which has already passed its rain season. “In the entire corn belt, from Indiana to Nebraska to the Dakotas, we have already reached the maximum precipitation periods for year. From here on in, it’s all downhill,” Svoboda said.

“As far as widespread general relief for the whole region it would take a really freakish dramatic change to make that happen. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards, given the time of year we are in.”

The skies are dry and our fields are scorched.

Our crops our failing and millions of acres are burning.

Our groundwater supplies are being rapidly depleted and giant dust storms are sweeping across some of our major cities.

Welcome to the new normal.

It isn’t going to be pleasant.

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