How Many U.S. Acres Will Be Lost To Floods?

June 19, 2008

iowapix.jpg    Agronomists, government officials, insurance adjusters, grain analysts, traders … the list goes on and on … are asking: How do we get a handle on how many crop acres are underwater in the U.S. Midwest after the extensive flooding.
    The truth is nobody knows and no one is going to know the extent of the damage for a long time.
    “The key word is uncertainty. We’re getting close to the end of time to replant crops but that leaves a lot of unknowns — how severe is the crop damage in those areas that survived, how stunted are they going to be, what’s the true effect going to be on yield and that depends on the rest of the summer,” said Bob Nielsen, extension agronomist with Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. 
    “It’s a very confusing mess.”
    Iowa, the No. 1 row crop state, was the hardest hit as many rivers swelled beyond their banks. Cedar River at Cedar Rapids rose to record levels over the weekend. In the state’s capital city of Des Moines, which is surrounded by corn and soybean fields, a levee holding back rising flood waters broke and swamped the city. It is the worst flooding the city has seen in 15 years.
    Now all the attention is on the Mississippi River, the main shipping artery for grains to Gulf export terminals, waiting to see how many levees break and the resulting damage.
    The swollen Mississippi River has flowed over 23 levees in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois with more at risk with another 25 at risk — an area protecting hundreds of thousands of crop acres, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
    USDA’s Iowa state crop report issued late Monday gave the world a hint on the damage so far — reporting that 9 percent of Iowa’s corn acres were flooded and 8 percent of the soybean crop was flooded.
    That equates to 1.19 million corn acres and 784,000 soybean acres based on USDA’s March planting intentions report.
    That’s just for Iowa. Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana, three other top five corn states, have also had floods, along with Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri and Kansas.
    Many hope that the June 30 planted acreage report will give a better clue of the damage. But the bottom line: those farmer surveys were conducted during the first two weeks of June before much of the flooding and levee breaks this week.
    The director for USDA’s Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) office told Reuters this week that said the government is planning a special acreage survey taking into account of the flooding, with results likely published in July.
    The details of the survey are sketchy right now but more details are expected this week.


The crop progress and conditon report that comes out every Monday by the USDA has so far been a complete pack of lies. The planted acreage for corn was shown at 84 million acres and this week it expected to go up to 87 million acres. They are not taking into account one acre of lost crops due to floods.

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Every time we purchase a product we generate waste, depletion of the source material, or an alteration to the eco-system and biosphere. For every tuck load of finished product 32 truckloads of waste are generated (Ray Anderson, Interface Inc.). We never directly witness what it takes to create the products we buy. Consumption equals waste, plus depletion of all resource, multiplied by cost of externalities plus direct cost of products.
C=W+DR (E+P) we only experience the C in the equation, the consumption. Our addiction to easy access products and our search for a fulfillment of all our emptiness or greed, with material items fuels our addiction to oil and energy. The energy required to make, transport, buy, and use these products is why we are trapped in a system of growth beyond the means that this planet can support via fossil fuels or ancient energy. The creation of a product creates more waste or pollution than does the product itself. Your key chain is responsible for pollution, the depletion of resources, any effect upon eco-systems and biosphere before it ever secured a single key. It is responsible for chemical pollution in the water, air, and soil due to the production process. It takes coal, petroleum, chemicals, and material resources to create the key chain. We have cut most of our old growth forest, turned large swaths of rain forest into unproductive potential desert. Desertification is on the rise especially in Africa and China. A single tree can absorb approximately 57,000 gallons from a large rainfall reducing flooding and soil degradation. Yet, still we cut and clear away our flood and desert prevention protection. We have over fished and depleted our fish stocks by as much as 90% around the entire globe (National Geographic Mag., April 2007) What fish are left to catch are not worth eating due to the levels of chemicals and a variety of heavy metal pollution. If we loose our ocean’s ability to sustain life, we loose life on the land. If the plankton blooms decline due to pollution and warming oceans a Precambrian Extinction event will acquire. Global Warming is heightened by our reduction of old growth forest CO2 absorption. Even the amount of Oxygen is directly affected by our actions. The increases of Ocean Dead Zones have decreased the ocean’s plant growth, which is responsible for 75 percent of the Earth’s Oxygen. We have a direct effect and relationship with the biosphere and its health or collapse. There is not an eco-system that has not been damaged, depleted, or ill affected by human contact. Global warming is the totality of all our actions upon all the eco-systems that are responsible for the stability of our climate, food supply, and the protection of the sustainability of life on earth. If the Biosphere collapses due to eco-system pollution and degradation, we may become extinct. But the earth will regenerate over millions of years, without us. Steven Hawking, the renowned physics guru has stated that the, “Worst case scenario is that Earth would become like its sister planet, Venus, with a temp. of 250 deg. centigrade and raining sulfuric acid.” That is, if we continue to destroy the biosphere, thus ourselves. The Earth’s biosphere and the health of our environment controls the weather with a little help from the Sun. When we destroy the eco-systems of the planet we destroy the stability of life and the weather patterns. All our actions via consumption add CO2 and other gases to the atmosphere, but it is all the other factors that are part of consumption that magnify our Green House gas pollution. Global Warming is Carbon pollution plus Eco-System Collapse. GW=C+ESC, Our extinction is when Ignorance and Denial are added to the equation.

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