“Punch in the gut”: Midwest rains to create near-record dead zone in Gulf

“Punch in the gut”: Midwest rains to create near-record dead zone in Gulf

SOURCE: Washington Post DATE: June 10 SNIP: As rain deluged the Midwest this spring, commercial fisherman Ryan Bradley knew it was only a matter of time before the disaster reached him. All that water falling on all that fertilizer-enriched farmland would soon wend its way through streams and rivers into Bradley’s fishing grounds in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Mississippi coast. The nutrient excess would cause tiny algae to burst into bloom, then die, sink and decompose on the ocean floor — a process that sucks all the oxygen from the water, turning it toxic. Fish would suffocate or flee, leaving Bradley and his fellow fishermen nothing to harvest. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Louisiana State University confirmed Bradley’s worst fears in forecasts published Monday, predicting this spring’s record rainfall would produce one of the largest-ever “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico. An area the size of New Jersey could become almost entirely barren this summer, posing a threat to marine species — and the fishermen who depend on them. “It’s just a major punch in the gut,” said Bradley, a fifth-generation commercial fisherman from Long Beach, Miss. Bradley is executive director for Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United, a nonprofit group that supports the state’s fishermen. Bradley said he plans to travel to Washington this month to ask federal lawmakers to declare a fisheries disaster, making relief funds available to affected fishermen. “To have a total wipeout,” he said, “which is what we’re going to have here now, I don’t know if our guys are going to be able to make it.” Nancy Rabalais,...
Total Catastrophe For U.S. Corn Production: Only 30% Of U.S. Corn Fields Have Been Planted – 5 Year Average Is 66%

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

SOURCE: The Economic Collapse Blog [Take with a grain of salt, but the numbers are from the Department of Agriculture and are quite clearly problematic.] DATE: May 15, 2019 SNIP: 2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry. Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground. I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it. But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate. And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly. In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield. Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year. It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress reports, about 11% of Illinois corn has been planted and about 4% of soybeans. Last year at this time, 88% of corn and 56% of soybeans were in the ground. Sadly, global weather patterns are continuing to go haywire, and much more rain is coming to...
Farmers in the Midwest Face Decades of Recovery as Flooding Strips Away Crucial Soil

Farmers in the Midwest Face Decades of Recovery as Flooding Strips Away Crucial Soil

SOURCE: Earther DATE: March 21, 209 SNIP: The Midwest floods continue to be a slow-moving disaster. Towns, farms, and infrastructure are still underwater in Nebraska, and water will take months to work through the vast network of rivers, creeks, and streams that drain the Upper Midwest into the Gulf of Mexico. The damage to the region could last much longer than that, though. It could require years to rebuild infrastructure, but the real challenge will be restoring the region’s greatest resource, the reason there are so many farms there in the first place: its soil. Early estimates indicate the floods could be responsible for $440 million in crop losses in Nebraska, which sits at the epicenter of the floods. That number could easily rise the longer floodwaters cut farmers off from fields and prevent spring plantings. That’s bad news for a state where one in four jobs are tied to or supported by farming, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture. States next door are dealing with their own varying levels of crisis from rivers overtopping their banks. Even after the floodwater recedes, the region’s farms and the soil they’re built on could face a long road to recovery, spanning years or decades. To understand why, you have to understand how these floods happened. After an extremely wet fall, winter arrived with a fury. Repeated blasts of cold froze the soil and heavy snow piled up on top of it. Then came the bomb cyclone a few weeks ago. It unleashed a blizzard in western Nebraska, but the eastern portion of the state saw rain and lots of it....
Flood-affected farmers witness entire cattle herds wiped out by catastrophic deluge

Flood-affected farmers witness entire cattle herds wiped out by catastrophic deluge

SOURCE: News.com.au DATE: February 11, 2019 SNIP: Farmers who managed to keep their cattle alive for seven years, through one of Australia’s worst droughts in history, have watched their herds wiped out in a matter of days after unprecedented floods devastated much of Queensland. If the cattle have not drowned or frozen to death in the elements, devastated farmers now face having to kill thousands of animals. The situation is so terrible that there are reports the farmers have run out of bullets. Some farmers are estimating almost 100 per cent stock losses while the state’s cattle industry as a whole is expecting about 500,000 dead cattle. When the first rain started to fall in the state’s west two weeks ago, drought-stricken farmers felt they could finally breathe a sigh of relief. It’s been more than seven years since the region received a substantial downpour but the monsoon — which saw clouds dump three years worth of rain in 10 days — is expected to cripple farmers for decades. “As we begin to access our paddocks we are being confronted with death and devastation at every turn. There are kangaroos dead in trees and fences, birds drowned in drifts of silt and debris and our beloved bovine family lay perished in piles where they have been huddling for protection and warmth,” grazier Jacqueline Curley wrote. “This scene is mirrored across the entire region, it is absolutely soul destroying to think our animals suffered like this. “The rain and wind was so intense they piled on top of one another for warmth. Many of these were still alive but we...
Heavy rains batter Vietnam’s central coast, flood city streets

Heavy rains batter Vietnam’s central coast, flood city streets

SOURCE: Vietnam Express DATE: December 9, 2018 SNIP: Experts say the downpours are triggered by the northeast monsoon in combination with strong winds. The Central Meteorological and Hydrological Station stated that the onset of monsoon, combined with strong winds, have caused the heavy rain. The rainfall in Da Nang in the last 24 hours since 7 p.m. Saturday is about 635 mm, the heaviest since archives were first available in 1975. Rainfall of 180 mm a day is considered heavy. [635mm is 25...