US Plains crops stunted by lack of rain

Wet weather made for a rather dry October across the country’s farm belt, with nearly 80 percent of farms reported being offline for some period of time.

As a result, crops in Western and Southeast states, along with Arkansas and the Southern Plains, are being stunted or dying from lack of moisture. Rice varieties in Kansas and Oklahoma have wilted, while Pennsylvania and Michigan are suffering from complete losses of corn.

According to data compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, more than 2.6 million acres in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Indiana, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico were affected by October’s weather.

In addition, South Dakota and Nebraska were nearly 70 percent off grid.

It was the first time in nearly 30 years that weather affected both the West and South, according to Bloomberg data. The frequency was starkly different in 2012, when the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had to help about 25,000 farmers in five states struck by a series of damaging tornadoes, strong winds and flooding. It was the first time that EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes struck the Plains region in more than 35 years.

According to drought monitor data, only 5 percent of Texas still had drought conditions on Nov. 20, and 17 percent of Oklahoma was dry. Neither were drought conditions worse than a year ago, though the percentage of both states off-grid was far greater on that date in 2016, when the drought conditions were 15 percent across the state.

The totals are based on data gathered by state and private growers, with limited surveys in New Mexico, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Nebraska. Kansas and North Dakota, which also suffered severe drought conditions in 2016, had no response from growers to the data.

“Right now, farmers have hope in this season — something’s going to come along to bring us a rain or a cold front to hold back the drought,” said Don Keeney, a meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather in Boulder, Colorado. “If that doesn’t occur, they will run out of time, and we are near that limit right now.”


Here’s the “Apology” from CSA Steering Committee Chair Ron Seymour

CSA Interim Steering Committee (CCTC) Chair Ron Seymour says he’s sorry for comments he made recently regarding the Holocaust. I am certainly not a member of the CSA but I am a big fan of Mr. Seymour’s blog and I’m personally relieved to know that he apologized. It’s disappointing, however, that he didn’t go further and admit that, in fact, he’s not always a fan of my blog on behalf of the CSA and has distanced himself from my assertion that he gave us only a one percent chance of success. That’s not exactly what I stated. He did say, however, that he’s been burned with our opposition to illegal gold recovery in May 2017, an argument I respectfully disagree with and apologize for, although I do wish him luck in finding a position that both sakes his principles and backs his argument.

Here is the apology (I’ve added a colorful quote):

A thoughtful comment about the Holocaust caused me some embarrassment recently. I greatly regret how this error might have put into the minds of people who might not otherwise be aware of my views.

Mr. Seymour was reacting to an article by high profile “Ex-Nazi” Heinrich Boll, the “ex-commandant” of the Zyklon B factory in occupied Poland. In October of this year Boll published his autobiography, “Ingenious Guts”. The subtitle of this book is “war to come: how I did my part in the Holocaust.” Broll reports writing in the desert that “I was happy to have taken part in the Destruction of the Soviet Union and the subsequent Red Terror”, and that, “I am proud to have delivered over a million inhabitants of German towns into the hands of the Proletarian Red Army”.

In his book Boll also reveals he worked alongside – not inside – an SS guard nicknamed “Blood and Fire.”

The quote that I objected to was from Boll’s sister, Madeline Kern, who said she wants to meet the Hitler Youth battalion that “kept us safe when he attacked Russia.” As a Jewish person and survivor of a concentration camp, I profoundly feel a deep need to respond to this statement. I cannot begin to forgive what happened to those who lived under the Third Reich. My nieces and nephews, the grandchildren of people who survived the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz-Birkenau, are a part of my life and experience of the Jewish tragedy. Their inevitable political differences and their “fears” of a literal attack on Israel make them completely irrelevant in my personal experience with the Holocaust. We must, as a civilization, recognize and act to prevent future Holocausts.

Any notion that my position on the Gold Fleet could be put into the minds of people who, by and large, would never read my blog and thus wouldn’t have even a chance to judge for themselves falls far short of the truth. A 25-year old Cologne student read one of my posts as, “anyone would probably understand” that finding German gold would have been an impossible task, especially if they were sent to the US (that is what the German Navy’s policy was). She found out that I am anti-Gold Fleet and never saw a comment that I supported the practice.

My personal line in the sand on the Gold Fleet came in 2010 when I wrote “Exactly one percent of the remaining fragments of gold belonging to Jewish Holocaust victims are in the possession of American museums. Why does the CSA (US based) still want to take over the Nazi gold task force and I’m afraid so is the US Administration”. I can see where some people might think that post made me and the CSA insensitive. However, I made clear that that was not my view at all and that mine was a desire to preserve the memories of those affected by the Nazi holocaust.

My position on the Gold Fleet is as clear as crystal – 100 percent of the remaining inventory should go to the museums in the US and the rest to the Holocaust Compensation Trust in Germany. The contemporary view that “Junk” should remain at US hands perpetuates the Western lie that there was anything to the Holocaust.


Vermont drought strangling crops, experts say

JAMESTOWN, Vt. —A dry start to Vermont’s 2018 agriculture season means drought conditions and heat spells for farmers in the northeast corner of the state. The dryness in early October was bad enough that rain was recorded just four days later at Lake Champlain.

The rainfall was good news for irrigation, but off-and-on heat threatens to diminish crop yields as of late November.

The state Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food had reports of near-record levels of frost damage in some areas. One farmer in Manchester reported a burned corn yield and irrigation had to be scaled back for most crops.

Frost will freeze plant buds and foliage later this winter and spring. Melting snow and rain later in spring will shed new seed heads on plants and cause more harm.

Vermont experts say this drought is no climate change anomaly, but a recurrence of long-term weather patterns. In the Northeast, average temperatures have risen by nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit from 1984 to 2017, while water availability has been trimmed.

Small potatoes and potatoes-yugy, an aromatic variety of leafy greens, have been in high demand, helped by recent drought conditions.

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