Posts Tagged ‘News’

Feds Declare Drought Emergency Across 1,000 Counties

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The U.S. government declared more than 1,000 counties in 26 states drought disasters, as the economic impact of the worst crop conditions in 24 years begins to be felt.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that farmers in those states can qualify for low-interest emergency loans as of Thursday. The USDA said it streamlined its disaster designation process, and the counties are designated as being in severe drought because of eight-consecutive weeks of drought during the growing season.

Earlier, the USDA released its crop report, showing sharply reduced expectations for this year’s harvest and a 12 percent decline in the expected corn crop yield.

The USDA had projected this year’s crop would be a bumper harvest, yielding 166 bushels per acre. It pared that expectation back to 146 bushels, the lowest in nine years. It now expects a total crop of 12.97 billion bushels, the third-largest on record but down from what would have been an all-time high of 14.8 billion bushels.

Grain prices jumped on the initial 8:30 a.m. EDT crop report, but sold off as rumors swirled ahead of the USDA announcement on drought disaster. Traders said there was a rumor the USDA had an announcement coming that would be a negative for grain prices. Futures prices stayed close to their lows after the announcement.

While the agency reduced its forecast for crop yields, it also cut its demand forecast. “We were blown away that the USDA actually recognized a yield number very realistically. That was a big issue here,” said Rich Nelson, director of research at Allendale.

“For soybeans, we were also surprised the USDA lowered soybean yield and they tempered the bullishness of the number by offsetting the entire supply drop with a drop in demand,” he said. Soybean yields were cut about 8 percent to 40.5 bushels per acre, the second-lowest since 2003.

The hardest-hit areas have been across the southern and eastern areas of the corn belt. “We haven’t had a drought like this since 1988. We’ve had regional droughts but nothing that goes from the Rockies to the Appalachians,” said Shawn McCambridge of Jefferies Bache.

McCambridge said he was surprised the USDA cut its forecast so sharply because it hasn’t yet done on-the-ground surveys.

“They must feel there’s some pretty significant damage in terms of yield losses,” he said. “When they go into the field for the August report, we could see another significant reduction.”

By: Patti Domm
CNBC Executive News Editor
July 12, 2012

Water Problems in China

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Environmental Degradation

Water pollution and water shortages pose the most serious problems. They cause health ailments, damage agriculture, jam up hydroelectric dams, interfere with manufacturing and limit urbanization. As aquifers dry up, soil erodes, turning an area the size of Connecticut to desert every year. The resulting dust storms add to the country’s already horrendous air pollution. Beijing’s preferred solution to the problem is a massive south-to-north river diversion project. Odds are, that will make matters worse, draining water from already overtaxed southern supplies.

Going Social on Facebook!

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010


We’re in the beginnings of getting our social media act together. Stay informed and up to date with trade shows, promos, press, and informative tidbits via Facebook.

Please visit our new Community Fan Page:

Also coming up soon: Twitter, YouTube, e-Newsletters and RSS feed capabilities.