"This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities," said Ed Clark, director of NOAA's National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
NOAA's outlook calls for nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states to face an elevated risk of flooding through May, with the potential for major to moderate flooding in 25 states across the Great Plains, Midwest and down through the Mississippi River valley.
VERDIGRE, Neb. — Ice chunks the size of small cars ripped through barns and farmhouses. Baby calves were swept into freezing floodwaters, washing up dead along the banks of swollen rivers. Farm fields were now lakes.
The record floods that have pummeled the Midwest are inflicting a devastating toll on farmers and ranchers at a moment when they can least afford it, raising fears that this natural disaster will become a breaking point for farms weighed down by falling incomes, rising bankruptcies...
...Farms filing for Chapter 12 bankruptcy protection rose by 19 percent last year across the Midwest, the highest level in a decade, according to data compiled by the American Farm Bureau. Now, many of those farmers have lost their livestock and livelihoods.
One reason for the lack of coverage is that federal flood maps are woefully outdated. Many residents in states like Nebraska are unaware they even need this type of insurance. "These outdated maps do not reflect real estate development and the climate change that is producing more intense storms," said Robert Hunter, director of insurance at the Consumer Federation of America. "By allowing developers to do whatever they want, almost every community acts in ways that delay implementation of new maps."
Such an approach could end up hurting not only Nebraskans, but consumers all across the country. That's because they'll have to pay more for food, particularly meat. Prices for hogs and cattle rose Wednesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Agriculture contributes more than $25 billion to Nebraska's economy, and the state ranks fourth in the nation in meat production. But many herds have been almost completely obliterated. And it will be impossible to get the remaining cattle and hogs to market until impassable roads and bridges are repaired. Nebraska's Governor Pete Ricketts described the damage as the most widespread in the state's history.
Nicole Alderman wrote: I may not be able to do much, but I can do something.
Nicole Alderman wrote:I know I'd been thinking about whether or not to build another garden bed for more potatoes. Tomorrow I will do so. The food I grow is food I can share, and food we can eat, and food I don't have to buy and that equals more food for others to buy.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
It's horrible not just for those people, but for all those who will buying food this coming year. With flooding until May (one can't drive tractors and plant seeds on soggy fields, right? And most crops you want in the ground in May, right?), and so many livestock dead, and farmers going bankrupt, I cannot help but think this will be a horrible year for food prices and supply.
Sometimes the effects of climate change and conventional agriculture and urban sprawl causing flooding and intense storms seem too much to find solutions to. But, at the very least, those that have the ability to plant more, can go out there and plant! I know I'd been thinking about whether or not to build another garden bed for more potatoes. Tomorrow I will do so. The food I grow is food I can share, and food we can eat, and food I don't have to buy and that equals more food for others to buy.
And, the little slice of permaculture that is my land, also helps combat against climate change, and the food I grow equals food that didn't get grown and moved with fossil fuels that fuel the climate change. I may not be able to do much, but I can do something.
James Landreth wrote:
I'm grateful that you brought this up at this time of year. It's perfect, since there's still plenty of time to plan practical gardens. I think potatoes are a great choice. Corn will be another good one.
I’ve been hearing more and more about food getting stolen from farms and gardens. It’s a little exhausting since many of us are already doing so much, but I guess it’s time to redouble our efforts on outreach etc.
James Landreth wrote:This year I've been focusing on getting people to put more trees in the ground in my area (food trees mostly) in hopes that we'd have more time before climate change would really impact food prices. I had actually planned on scaling back my garden this year to focus on establishing trees.
Nicole, have you had the chance to plant any nut trees yet?
Nicole Alderman wrote:
I have! My husband planted a black walnut seed a few years back and last year I planted 3 chestnuts and 3 hazelnuts, and I planted another chestnut this year. With my 5 acres being north-facing, it's hard to plant a lot of canopy trees, because they mean no sun in the winter, as they shade everything down hill. But, I planted the chestnuts along the forest edge, and the hazelnuts should do well any where. I was hesitant about investing in nut trees because the squirrels ate every single hazelnut from my mom's three trees, but I don't have nearly as many squirrels, so hopefully we'll get some nuts eventually! Nest year I hope to get some more hazelnuts and plant them in my hedges. The more diversity, the better!
As for other trees, I've got 8 apple, 2 peach, 2 pear, 3 cherry, 3 pawpaw, 1 cultivated plum and at least 5 that suckered of of my mom's tree, and 1 persimmon (pretty sure it died) tree.
Pearl Sutton wrote:
I have no idea if that map has been all over the mainstream news etc, as I don't watch it. Apologies if it's something that has been spread all over already.
Chris Kott wrote:I think the Victory Garden thing, and the teaching of people who can get out there and, with the right instruction, do a little garden work and yield food for themselves, is going to be more impactful than straight-up feeding people, although that's a laudible thing to do for those who can't do for themselves.
As they say, "Give a man a fire, and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life."
Or was the fishing one more appropriate?
Nicole Alderman wrote:give us shade during our increasingly hotter summers.
Over the past few days, various forecast computer models have shown a blizzard of epic proportions for the north-central Plain States and Upper Midwest. Every time a model is updated, the storm depicted seems to get even more intense. At this point, it seems likely that some of the same areas impacted by devastating flooding just weeks ago are about to get slammed by an historic blizzard Wednesday through Friday.
The storm will intensify as it enters the central Great Plains on Wednesday. The barometric pressure — a measure of intensity in which lower means stronger — may drop to levels nearly as low as during the record-setting bomb cyclone in mid-March. In fact, this storm could tie or set April low pressure records.
Nicole Alderman wrote:
This is just horrible.
Pearl Sutton wrote:It's the first weekend in May, and this is still ongoing in the Midwest. I'm in Southern Missouri, and we have had no time to dry out. The soil is totally waterlogged. All of the creeks and rivers are in overflow, the lakes have got to be a mess, I know I know they have the dams shut to try to take the strain off the Mississippi River. I just checked the forecast for next week "the heaviest rains will be Tuesday through Thursday..." You may have seen the news of tornadoes going through, they don't mention the 6 inches of rain in about 2 hours, adding to the already soaked ground.
I have a bunch of plants that want to go in the ground who aren't there yet, I have a tractor I can't move due to mud. I'm not alone in this, and I'm not a big farmer, who depends on their tractor and trucks and such to do all of their work. I hate to think what they are dealing with. The roads are still washing out, anyplace that was bare soil is eroding badly.
If you don't have a garden going, get one started, doesn't matter how half assed. Dig a hole just big enough to put squash seeds in, put bell pepper or tomato plants in between your foundation plantings. You don't have to have a full tilled up garden bed for a lot of crops, anything is better than zero. You might be REALLY glad in a couple of months that you have done so.
Pay attention, y'all, this ain't being pretty, and it ain't over.
Carla Burke wrote:
So, If you're the praying kind, send up a prayer for me, please?
Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana and South Dakota are the four states significantly behind schedule and expected to remain that way, according to AccuWeather meteorologists who have been analyzing the data. Those four states combined produce nearly 40% of the corn in the U.S. If the weather continues a wet pattern through late May, consumer prices could go up this summer.
Iowa and Nebraska, the other two states among the top six corn producers, are only slightly behind, according to data from the USDA.
“The question will be how much farther it will fall behind the pace,” said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls. “It’s about a week behind schedule right now. If it were to go to a week and a half or two weeks, that’s big news.”
By this time of year, 43% of corn crops would already be planted in Illinois, according to the five-year average provided by the USDA. However, just 9% has been planted so far. Iowa averages 26% of crops planted at this point, and 21% has been planted so far.
Three of the other top corn producers are lagging behind this season so far. Minnesota (2% of corn crops planted by now compared to its five-year average of 24%), Indiana (2% compared to 17%) and South Dakota (0% compared to 17%) are also well off pace.
"It was just too wet this week for there to be a national catch-up,” Nicholls said. “Most of the corn should be in the ground by May 15 in the South and by June 1 in the North. After those dates you start to risk losing significant yield.
“We think one of the weeks in late May will end up being drier, maybe at the end of the month,” Nicholls added. “But the week of May 6-12 looks pretty wet and May 13-19 doesn’t look good either.”
Nicole Alderman wrote:
I'd like to say that probably 30% of America's calories come from corn. I'd love to see real numbers on that. Even though most permies don't eat as much corn as the general consumer, this is a big hit to food prices. We're also the largest producer of corn for the world. Yikes.
I'm sure corn isn't the only crop they can't plant, either!