Gov. Schwarzenegger Takes Action to Address California’s Water ShortageProclaims State of Emergency, Directs Government to Utilize Resources, Help People
To combat California’s third consecutive year of drought, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today proclaimed a state of emergency and ordered immediate action to manage the crisis. In the proclamation, the Governor uses his authority to direct all state government agencies to utilize their resources, implement a state emergency plan and provide assistance for people, communities and businesses impacted by the drought
1) The worst drought in half a century has turned Argentina's once-fertile soil to dust and pushed the country into a state of emergency. Cow carcasses litter the prairie fields, and sun-scorched soy plants wither under the South American summer sun.
2) Argentina's "Production is going to go down a minimum of 50 percent, maybe more.” The country's wheat yield for 2009 will be 8.7 million metric tons, down from 16.3 million in 2008. With domestic wheat consumption in 2007 being approximately 6.7 million metric ton, Argentina's wheat exports are set to drop drastically.
3) California is facing its worst drought in recorded history. The drought is predicted to be the most severe in modern times, worse than those in 1977 and 1991.
4) Thousands of acres of row crops already have been fallowed, with more to follow.
5) The statewide snowpack proved to be just 61 percent of average, and the snowpack in the Northern Sierra, home to some of the state's most important reservoirs, was only 49 percent. Sacramento in January saw just 1.5 inches of rain, against the historical average of 4.2 inches.
6) Water agencies throughout the state are scrambling to adopt conservation mandates.
7) Australia has been experiencing an un relenting drought since 2004. The drought has been so severe that rivers stopped flowing, lakes turned toxic and farmers abandoned their land in frustration
8) The Murray River stopped flowing at its terminal point, and its mouth has closed up.
9) The water in the lower lakes is evaporating. There are some walls holding back the ocean from these lower lakes. But the water in the lakes is evaporating and is now a meter (3.2 feet) below sea level.
10) If these lakes evaporate any further, the soil and the mud system below the water is going to be exposed to the air. It's going to then acidify and release sulfuric acid. It's also going to release a whole range of heavy metals. So those lower lake systems will essentially become a toxic swamp which will never be able to be recovered. Australian government’s options for these lakes are: toxic swamp, dead sea or pray for rain.
11) For some reason, the debate over climate change is essentially over in Australia.
12) In Africa, half the agricultural soil has lost nutrients necessary to grow plant. The situation is very severe and soil fertility is declining rapidly.
13) A lack of credit for farmers curbed their ability to buy seeds and fertilizers in 2008/2009 and may limit production around the world.
Food prices are going to rise, big time
Think this guy has a loose screw? Not Possible you may think?
Dubai: UAE insisted that its brand-name city would not be drawn in by the downturn. In fact, the UAE established a "no news is good news" policy of sorts. In January, the government announced that fines ranging from $13,600 to $272,500 would be levied against any media outlet for publishing news that damages the "country's reputation or its economy."
The UAE's Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansouri last week admitted that the economy of the world's fifth largest oil exporter is expected to shrink in 2009. "The bubble has finally burst," says one American expat. Some people point to mixed blessings of the financial downturn. Rents, which were at unbearable highs last summer, have now plummeted by at least 25% and property prices are down by as much as 50% since August of last year. Dubai's construction boom, some $8 billion in projects have now either been scrapped or put on hold.
Back to Food:
Prices of wheat, rice and corn rose to records last year, sparking riots from Haiti to Ivory Coast. World food production may drop in the next crop year as falling prices and the recession prompt farmers to lower investment and cut plantings, the United
Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- Food prices may rise because a lack of credit for farmers curbed their ability to buy seeds and fertilizers and may limit production, Nestle SA Chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe said.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Edmondson said by taking over National Beef and Smithfield, JBS will become the largest beef processor in the nation and the new company could have a significant impact on the feedlot segment of the beef industry. The top five processors exercise an 85% market share and this merger will result in the consolidation of three of these processors into one.”
*** Worst drought in 50 years is hitting Argentina
*** Farmers say they are losing 50 percent or more of crops
*** Cow carcasses litter the landscape while plants wither in the summer sun
China’s biggest wheat producing provinces are also experiencing their worst drought in half a century.
"The situation is very grim for all farmers," said Sarah Woolf, spokeswoman for the San Joaquin Valley's giant Westlands Water District, which warned customers they may not get any water this year. "There simply will be drastic fallowing and, in all likelihood, significant impacts that result in some businesses not making it through. All these factors mean the statewide economic impacts will increase substantially from current estimates, Howitt said. He expects this drought will be worse than those in 1977 and 1991, the most severe in modern times.
Food Production Chaos Looms in Africa as Soil Quality Worsens
By Jeremy van Loon
Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- African farmers and climate change are combining to damage soil at a rate that may plunge the continent, home to about 1 billion people, into chaos as food production declines.
Henan, China's major grain producer, issued a red alert for drought Thursday. The provincial meteorological bureau said the drought is the worst since 1951. The drought have affected about 63 percent of the province's 78.9 million mu (5.26 million hectares) of wheat.
But Henan Province is not the only victim in thirsty northern China.
Anhui Province issued a red drought alert Sunday, forecasting a major drought that will plague more than 60 percent of the crops north of the Huaihe River if no rain is reported by next week.
Shanxi Province was put on orange drought alert on Jan. 21, as nearly one million people and 160,000 heads of livestock are facing water shortage.
"This will drive down wages. They will work for less, and most of them will work over an eight hour day for nothing. Overtime rate will be a thing of the past for sure. (if you let it) Low wages to come."