Friday, July 6, 2012

This is what Global Warming looks like!

 This picture is typical of corns current condition in much of the US, in Russia and the Ukraine.  In the US around 40% of the corn is now rated poor or very poor. Immediate rains and cooling is all that will save it, it's down to a couple of days or it's kaput, otherwise these fields will yield only 10 to 50% of normal.
This is about what my corn looks like.  I have irrigation.  In severe heat I can keep it alive, but the yield will still suffer a little.  When temperatures linger for hours over 100°F the fruiting process and the filling out of the corn kernel is not as successful no matter how much water we use.  It's like you having a fever, you cannot thrive outside of that narrow band.
Expect corn prices to reach near $7 a bushel due to reduced harvest.  Ethanol will get higher.  The other concern, if we exceed our water usage we face a fine.  Cattle auctions are jammed with parched critters.  Grassland has little carrying capacity now and ranchers are forced to feed hay to cattle in the pasture.  A few even have to haul water.
Meat prices will go up, maybe a lot, thats ok, most of us eat to much of it anyway, that could meter us down a few pounds and open up your heart tubes again.  Other products will go up a little as corn prices impact food processors, look for soft drinks to go up, thats fine with me too.  Wheat is up 25% in the last few days with news of Argentina's wheat crop is at risk, and why, storms and foul weather over broad areas of their farm belt, it's global.


  1. Where do you get your water? We have a huge sod far, with the irrigation things in the picture north of here - but, they are all near a river or a creek.


    1. A well, permitted for mining 701 gallons a minute, up to 1.3 acre feet per year. Since the center pivot sprinkler covers only about 130 or 140 acre out of a larger square piece of land, (it cannot reach the corners which we usually plant in wheat) thats maybe equal to putting 16 inch or 18 of water on it. Hopefully a few rains come along to help out, so that we never get up near the permit limit. We never have in the past. There is a limit to how many wells can be drilled. In our area all the permits are used up. This summer will draw the aquifer down a couple feet I imagine, if it runs dry it will take a couple decades even up to a century to replenish. Right now this aquifer is in excellent shape, an underground lake 30 mile wide 100 or more long with water in some areas 50' thick. Some other locations their is not so much water and it is running low, out in the southwest corner of the state where they are building coal fired power plants, hell those things are going to use up more water than hundreds of farms will, burn coal, boil it to steam the turbine and let er go, very little is recovered.

  2. The 50' number is wrong, it is greater than that but I can't find it in the info I have, anyhow its a lot of water, I think its a couple hundred feet of water in some locations.

  3. Fringe,
    We seem to be having a reasonably mild winter here in New Zealand. The thing that has always surprised me living this close to the Antarctic is how green plants stay in winter. Our grass goes dormant but never turns brown. Most of our hot air though comes from Parliament in Wellington.


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