Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: Explosions at Telica Volcano in Nicaragua!

The Civil Defence Department in Nicaragua is preparing to evacuate 3,703 families living in nearby communities after the explosions with emission of gases, ash and sand was seen emanating from the Telica Volcano.

Nicaragua authorities announced Monday the activation of a contingency plan in the west of the country after the entry into Telica volcano's activity, which in the past three days has issued columns of gas, ash, sand and water vapor. It has also led to increased microearthquakes, Civil Defense confirmed. In a press conference in Managua (capital), the deputy chief of Civil Defense of Nicaragua, Colonel Nestor Solis said that triggered the Municipal Committees for Disaster Prevention Telica. The authority explained that the operation addressed three municipalities (Telica, Quezalguaque, in the province of León, and Posoltega, in the province of Chinandega) and said that was applied "to respond to a possible emergency that could arise from increased activity in this Colossus, with a height of a thousand and 61 meters. There are a 1,642 families, with 8,211 people, 1,533 thousand households, which are at very high risk," he added. Solis also said the Civil Defense Corps is ready for immediate evacuation of 50 families in the event of a new explosion or increased seismic activity due to the volcano. "Today (Monday) is in relative calm" he said. On the other hand, this Monday, the Nicaraguan Institute of Territorial Studies (INET), noted that the activity recorded by the crater "indicates that the volcano is in a process for an event a little bigger." The information was confirmed by the agency director, Angela Muñoz, who warned that the seismicity at the volcano has risen to 500 microns, less than one on the Richter scale, invisible to the population. "I can probably be another explosion," said the expert, who said the Ineter is doing analysis of the sand and gas has driven the volcano since its reactivation. The temperature in the volcano is quite high and as a result of rain Saturday night, clogged the crater, causing higher pressure than the outside throw rocks, ash and a large amount of gases. This crater 61 meters in height thousand active since 1527, and without this revival, his last violent eruption was in 1948. Despite this, in later years has been driving the giant smoke and roaring sporadically. On July 31, 1994, an eruption produced a column of gases and ash that reached heights of around 800 meters above the crater rim, and distances of 17 kilometers. Five years later, on May 21, 1999 began a phreatic eruption (with water) with some explosions in the crater, which was repeated on June 5 next. On 10 August the same year recorded another strong eruption Telica, hit it with gas and ash several nearby villages. - TeleSurfTV
WATCH: News report of the explosions at the Telica Volcano.

EARTH CHANGES: China's Yangtze River - Worst Drought in 50 Years!

The Yangtze river, the longest waterway in Asia and China's most important shipping route, has been closed by the worst drought in 50 years that has left cargo ships stranded and 400,000 people without drinking water.

Water-levels have sunk as low as 10ft in the main thoroughfare of the 3,900-mile long river that stretches from the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau to the coastal city of Shanghai. The Yangtze river basin is home to one-third of China's population and is responsible for 40 per cent of the country's economic growth. Emergency teams have been sent to the river's middle reaches around Wuhan in the central province of Hubei, to rescue two ships that have been grounded in the past week and help any others that become stranded. The river's management office has now closed a 140-mile stretch of the river above Wuhan to ocean-going vessels because of the shallow water. It also said the river is 160 feet narrower in key sections than it was last year. Wu Heping, a senior official at the management office said the drought that has affected the Yangtze is the "first we have seen in the past half century" and that the river's water level is "the lowest it has been since 2003, when the Three Gorges Dam went into operation." He warned that even though storms are imminent, "heavy rain may not raise the water level much". About 400,000 people in central Hubei province are without drinking water as a result of the drought, and approximately 2.1m acres of farmland have been damaged by it, according to the province's agricultural department. Although the water level of the Yangtze always drops during the dry winter season, there have been claims that the enormous Three Gorges Dam has exacerbated the problem by changing the water table in the Yangtze basin. Officials at the dam said they have opened sluice gates, sending over 1,400 cubic feet of water flushing down the river to alleviate the problems and leaving the water level at the dam below the 510ft level needed for optimal power generation. Wang Jingquan, director of the flood control and drought relief office affiliated with the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee, told the state-run China Daily that damming up the river had aggravated the drought by "pinching off" water flow to lower reaches. However Zheng Shouren, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering in Beijing and the chief engineer with the Yangtze River Water Resources Committee, argued the opposite, saying that the dam alleviated drought by storing water that would otherwise have been be lost. - The Telegraph

SIGNS & SYMBOLS: Crop Circle in Sumatera Barat, Indonesia!

A new crop circle was found in Sumatera Barat in Indonesia. According to the Crop Circle Connector, the international crop circle online database, the pattern appeared in the rice fields in Cikarang, west of Java and was reported on May 13th, 2011.

Here are images of the pattern:

WATCH: Video presentation from an eyewitness.

Click HERE for more aerial shots, ground shots, field reports, diagrams and articles.

EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT: A CRISIS OF BIODIVERSITY - Hundreds Of Species Facing Mass Extinction Across The Continent Of Europe?!

According to the EU's Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, animals such as the Iberian lynx, the Mediterranean monk seal and the Bavarian pine vole could soon be gone. These are among hundreds of species - up to a quarter of the total native to the continent - that are threatened with extinction according to a warning issued this month by the European Union.

'Biodiversity is in crisis, with species extinctions running at unparalleled rates,' said a statement from Mr Potocnik. The threatened species include mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and butterflies and plant life is also under threat. The crisis is due to several factors, including loss of habitat, pollution, alien species encroachment, climate change and overfishing. Critics say the EU's proposed solutions don't go far enough and lack funding. 'Life is possible because of biodiversity,' said Ana Nieto, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 'Everything comes from biodiversity. Everything comes from having well-functioning ecosystems.' The crisis threatens humans as well, potentially wreaking economic and social havoc in Europe, said Potocnik spokesman Joe Hennon. The continuing loss of birds can allow insects to breed at alarming rates, harming crops, Hennon said. A reduced number of bees inhibits plant pollination and diminishing forests mean water is not cleaned naturally and the soil is loosened, too, making floods and mud slides more likely. All of that, Hennon said, means governments should spend money preserving species from extinction. 'People say: "Yes, but we don't have the money to spend on environmental protection." Surely growth and jobs are more important,' Hennon said. 'You have to say: "Well, look what happened in Pakistan last year. You can have catastrophic flooding because forests have been cut down. So it ends up costing you more in the long run."' The strategy proposed this month by Potocnik sets a variety of targets - among them, halting the loss of species in the European Union countries by 2020, putting management plans in place for all forests, restoring at least 15 percent of degraded ecosystems, controlling invasive species, and more. Environmentalists have generally welcomed the targets but expressed skepticism. 'There needs to be funding and there's not really funding,' said Nieto. Hennon, the EU spokesman, acknowledged today that funding so far is insufficient to meet the EU's goals. A paper explaining the new proposals said the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, is 'assessing the funding needs' for implementing the 2020 goals. The EU failed to meet its biodiversity targets for 2010 and the European Environmental Bureau, a confederation of grassroots environmental organisations, said the EU strategy 'appears to fall short of delivering what is needed to protect Europe's valuable natural resource base'. Nieto said the loss of biodiversity is more acute in Europe than in many other parts of the world because of the scale of residential and industrial development. With an average of nearly 70 people per square kilometre (180 people per square mile), Europe is the second most densely populated continent, behind only Asia - and about three times as densely populated as North America. 'Today, biodiversity doesn't simply mean the protection of rare plants and species,' said Sarolta Tripolzsky of the European Environmental Bureau. 'It's about protecting a system people rely on to live. The costs of replacing nature's free services would be devastating.' - Daily Mail.

EARTH CHANGES: 'Dustbowl Britain' faces repeat of 1976 Drought?!

Britain faces a repeat of the 1976 drought as a dry spell drags on, with crop failures leading to higher food prices. In 1976, Britain was in the grip of what was thought to be worst drought of the century. The whole country was affected by water rationing as temperatures soared. Thousands had to collect water from stand-pipes. Many householders in Wales and the west of England were left without tap water when temperatures were frequently over 80C. Thousands of homes in Yorkshire and East Anglia had their water supply replaced by communal standpipes in the street. Water restrictions on industry in the Midlands forced some companies to shorten their working week. As the soil in the bottom of reservoirs cracked and dried out gardeners everywhere were forbidden to use hose-pipes with strict penalties imposed on those who flouted the ban.

Are we looking at repeat of those conditions now, or worst? Already the month of May have been the hottest on record since records began 353 years ago.
The near-drought that has created dustbowl conditions in parts of Britain is expected to stretch into June and crop failures look set to drive up the price of food. The Met Office forecasts a fortnight of warm, mostly dry weather from this weekend, scuppering the hopes of gardeners and farmers desperate for rain. In East Anglia the soil is as hard as concrete, while in Essex some farmers have seen only half an inch of rain since February. The parched conditions have provoked fears of hosepipe bans, forest fires and food price rises. The latest warning came as the Environment Secretary hosted an emergency summit on the summer drought threat. Although water companies are confident of keeping supplies going throughout the summer, Caroline Spelman warned against complacency and called for more updates. Food prices are already four per cent higher than this time last year, according to the Office for National Statistics and cost of vegetables looks likely to go up. This is as a result of earlier harvests that will bring about lower yields. Jenny Bashford, water policy adviser at the National Farmers Union, said: 'It may be shaping up to be as dry as 1976 but we are in a better position than we were back then. 'We are more water resilient,' she told the Daily Telegraph. 'The water companies have more reservoirs.' Last week the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology warned that large parts of southern Britain were suffering from the worst drought conditions since 1976.  - Daily Mail.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 144 Quakes at Bulusan Volcano in 24 hours!

Several days ago, I highlighted the news of 11 quakes, recorded at the Bulusan Volcano, where streaming activity at the active vents ranged from wispy to moderate with white steam drifting to the southwest direction. Seismologists believed that the source of the activity was hydrothermal and shallow, therefore an Alert Level 1 was issued and entry to the 4 kilometre radius was prohibited, since the area is at risk to sudden steam and ash explosions.

Today, news comes of increasingly heightened activity at the volcano.

Alert level 1 remains at Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon after state volcanologists noted a significant rise in seismic activity in the area, recording 144 volcanic quakes there in the last 24 hours. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said 80 of these quakes were recorded in a seven-hour period on Monday, from 5:00 a.m. to noon. "The seismic network at Bulusan Volcano detected a total of 144 volcanic earthquakes for the past 24 hours. Steaming activity at the active vents was weak to moderate throughout the observation period," Phivolcs said in its Tuesday update. Phivolcs warned of possible sudden steam-driven or "phreatic" explosions. "Similar events are most likely to occur in view of the volcano’s reactivation last 13 May 2011 especially with the current increase in the volcano’s seismicity," it said. However, it said Bulusan Volcano’s status remains at Alert Level 1, meaning sudden steam and ash explosions can occur. Entry to the 4-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) is strictly prohibited, since the area is at risk to sudden steam and ash explosions, it added. "Due to the prevailing wind direction, residents in the northwest and southwest sectors of the volcano are reminded to take precautions against ashfalls. Civil aviation authorities must also warn pilots to avoid flying close to the volcano’s summit as ejected ash and volcanic fragments from sudden explosions may be hazardous to aircraft," it said. Phivolcs said aircraft should avoid flying on the western side of the volcano as volcanic debris are likely to be carried in this direction by the prevailing winds. Also, it said people living near valleys and river/stream channels should be vigilant against sediment-laden stream flows and lahars in the event of heavy and prolonged rainfall. - GMA News
In addition, GMA News is also reporting that there is also major activities at the Mayon and Taal Volcanoes.
Six quakes at Mayon. In Albay, Phivolcs said six volcanic earthquakes at Mayon Volcano during the past 24 hours. Steaming activity was weak to moderate throughout the observation period, while crater glow was observed at Intensity II (can be seen by the naked eye) Monday night. Alert Level 1 is also still in effect over Mayon Volcano, Phivolcs said. "Although this means that no eruption is imminent, it is recommended that the public should not enter the 6-kilometer radius Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ) due to the continuing threat from sudden small explosions and rockfalls from the upper and middle slopes of the volcano," it said. It added active stream/river channels and those perennially identified as lahar prone areas in the southern sector should also be avoided especially during bad weather conditions or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall. Six quakes at Taal. At Taal Volcano in Batangas, six volcanic quakes were also observed in the last 24 hours. One of these quakes at 1:16 p.m. Monday was felt at Barangay Calauit on the southeastern part of the volcano island at Intensity II, accompanied by rumbling sound and two with rumbling sound that occurred at 1:32 and 1:40 p.m. but not felt, Phivolcs said. Phivolcs said Alert Level 2 is still in effect over Taal Volcano, with the interpretation that magma has been intruding towards the surface. It advised the public that the Main Crater, Daang Kastila Trail and Mt. Tabaro are strictly off-limits because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate. "Breathing air with high concentration of toxic gases can be lethal to human, animals and even cause damage to vegetation. In addition, it is reminded that the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strictly not recommended," it said.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Dozens of Unusual Tropical Fish in Albany!

The Department of Fisheries says a strong Leeuwin Current is causing an unusual species of fish to wash up on Albany's shores in Western Australia.

Dozens of oceanic sunfish have been found dead on Goode Beach and at Frenchman's Bay. The sunfish is native to tropical and temperate waters. The department's senior research scientist Dr Kim Smith says a strong current is dragging large numbers of sunfish to cooler, southern waters. "This time of year is associated with the Leeuwin Current flowing across the South Coast at its strongest," she said. "It's that warm water current and it brings these fish down, this year we have a really strong Leeuwin current and there's a lot washing up." Dr Smith says hundreds of sunfish washed up on the South Coast in 2008 due to the current. "It's possible that this event might be a bigger one, in terms of more fish washing up than the 2008 event," she said. - ABC.net

EARTH CHANGES: Persistent Weather Anomalies Hits America?!

As we continue to monitor the precursors to the imminent and monumental disaster that will befall the United States of America, here are a few stories that gives an insight into the burgeoning crisis and an indication into what is coming next.

Parts of Cajun country is now facing 20 feet of water as residents evacuate, with floodwaters creeping closer to Louisiana towns.


Deputies warned people Sunday to get out as water gushing from a floodgate for the first time in four decades crept ever closer to communities in the Louisiana Cajun country, slowly filling a river basin like a giant bathtub. Most residents heeded the warnings and headed for higher ground, even in places where there hasn't been so much as a trickle, hopeful that the flooding engineered to protect New Orleans and Baton Rouge would be merciful to their way of life. Days ago, many of the towns known for their Cajun culture and drawling dialect fluttered with activity as people filled sandbags and cleared out belongings. By Sunday, some areas were virtually empty as the water from the Mississippi River, swollen by snowmelt and heavy rains, slowly rolled across the Atchafalaya River basin. It first started to come, in small amounts, into people's yards in Melville on Sunday. But it still had yet to move farther downstream. The floodwaters could reach depths of 20 feet in the coming weeks, though levels were nowhere close to that yet. The spillway's opening diverted water from heavily populated New Orleans and Baton Rouge — along with chemical plants and oil refineries along the Mississippi's lower reaches — easing pressure on the levees there in the hope of avoiding potentially catastrophic floods. About 11 miles north of Krotz Springs in the town of Melville, water was already starting to creep into some people's backyards. Parts of the town not protected by levees were under a mandatory evacuation order. Glenda Maddox's husband had temporarily reopened the gas station he closed in December so people could fuel up before they leave. "Nobody knows what's going to happen," she said. "We don't know if the levee is going to hold up." - MSNBC.

Thousands of people were evacuating their homes in Louisiana last night as a massive operation got under way to save the cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge from a flooding catastrophe. Engineers were preparing to divert water from the swollen Mississippi river by unleashing millions of gallons across thousands of acres of farmland and homes in the state’s Cajun country, easing pressure on the flood defences of its two largest cities. The US Army Corps of Engineers planned last night to open the massive Morganza Spillway 45 miles north of Baton Rouge, forcing up to 25,000 people to leave the area. Volunteers and state officials have been making house-to-house calls to alert residents to the evacuation plan. Fed by rainwater and the spring thaw over recent months, the Mississippi has risen to levels not seen in decades, and has caused the worst floods in Louisiana since 1927. New Orleans has still not fully recovered from the flooding it suffered in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which killed nearly 2,000 people and caused billions of pounds of damage. - Daily Mail
Alabama's April tornadoes have put the state in the severe weather history books. The historic number of tornadoes produced on April 27, 2011 were also historic in their magnitude, intensity and path length.


Alabama's April tornadoes have put the state in the severe weather history books. The historic number of tornadoes produced on April 27, 2011 were also historic in their magnitude, intensity and path length. Ninety-nine tornadoes touched down on April 27. Seven were EF4 and two were EF5. This year, now holds the record for number of tornadoes and most EF4/EF5 tornadoes in a single year. The previous number of tornadoes in a single year was 94 in 2008. The National Weather Service says the numbers are still considered preliminary, because they are not done with their storm surveys. But as it stands, another notable record, April 27 and April 15 rank one and two for the greatest number of tornadoes in Alabama in a single event. There were 53 tornadoes on April 27 and 45 tornadoes on April 15. The NWS reports several tornado climatology records have already been exceeded this year, and the spring severe weather season isn't over yet. - Fox10TV.
A rare mid-May snowstorm forced organizers to cancel the first stage of the Amgen Tour of California cycling race on Sunday and move the start location of the second leg on Monday.


The beginning of the second stage Monday will now be in Nevada City, California, instead of Squaw Valley, organizers reported on their website. The Amgen Tour of California is described as a Tour de France-type event and the largest cycling race in the country. The world's top cycling teams compete. Officials changed the stage two start point after the snow forced the closure of the Donner Pass on Highway 80, the only exit from the High Sierra to California's Central Valley and a key section of the original stage two route, Cyclingnews.com reported. Race organizers canceled the first stage of the tour on Sunday when the storm dumped up to 7 inches of snow over some parts of the Lake Tahoe and Truckee areas, the Union.com reported. Cyclists weren't the only ones with weather-related headaches. About 1,800 Pacific Gas and Electric customers lost power on Sunday, the Union.com reported. The area could see more snow down to the 2,400-foot level Monday night into Tuesday, Kathy Hoxie, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, told the Union. To the west, even the Bay Area saw snow from Sunday's storm. About three-quarters of an inch covered the top of 4,200-foot Mount Hamilton, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. - CNN.
In Kansas, a disaster is rapidly developing as just 5 percent of the land has adequate moisture, as drought conditions prevail.

Kent Winter plucks a stalk of wheat and bends it to expose the leaves, which are brownish, papery and curled into a tube. "That's the lack of moisture," he said. He figures that the field of non-irrigated, double-crop wheat behind his house is a goner. He'll probably harvest it as animal fodder after the insurance man pays him for his loss. The alfalfa in the next field could still be worth something if it rains heavily in the coming weeks. There's no insurance on the alfalfa. "The dryland alfalfa is a disaster," he said, gazing out over the too-short plants. Winter said he's never seen a drought this severe in the 27 years since he's run the farm full time. Sedgwick County farmers aren't experiencing quite the blistering dustbowl-like conditions of western Kansas, but it's still dry in enough to make this a poor year for wheat and hay. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting that winter wheat production in south-central Kansas will be down more than 20 percent from 2010. In south-central Kansas, only about a quarter of the acreage has adequate moisture, as of May 1, according to the USDA. In southwest Kansas, which the state and federal governments have declared disaster areas, just 5 percent of the land has adequate moisture. The crop is expected to be just half of last year's total. On the other hand, the eastern third of Kansas, which grows the least amount of the state's wheat, hasn't felt the drought at all and expects its crop to be up from last year... The weather formation that has caused the dry conditions since last year, the North American Oscillation, has just moved farther north, allowing low pressure to develop in the nation's Southwest... High wheat prices soothe much of the pain of a poor harvest. Wheat is now selling in the neighborhood of $8 a bushel, about twice as high as this time in 2010. Kansas State University agricultural economist Kevin Dhuyvetter estimated that the value of the state's harvest will still be one of the highest in the past decade, worth more than $2 billion, based on the USDA's latest harvest estimates. And even those whose crop was largely wiped out won't be ruined financially. Farmers typically insure themselves to the point where, even if the harvest is a bust, they can at least recover their costs. In many cases, the insurance is structured to pay the difference between the farmer's average yield and what the farmer actually got that year. That would help for those who have a total or near total loss. But with high prices, a farmer can have a lousy harvest and still beat the insurance payout. "Sure 50 bushels an acre would be great," Dhuyvetter said, "but 35 bushels an acre will work out, too." The corn has been planted and needs moisture — soon — to prosper. But grain sorghum and soybeans don't have to be planted yet, and some farmers are waiting to see what happens. "There's not enough moisture to plant beans," said Steve Jacob, who farms 3,500 acres near Bentley. "We need some serious rain." - Kansas.com.
It is the same scenario in other states.
Texas farmers and ranchers know that dry spells come and go, yet the drought conditions in the state are now reaching critical levels. Amid wildfires and continued lack of substantial rain, Texas AgriLife Extension Service crop experts say that crop production in Texas has “pretty much shut down. If you look at the U.S. drought monitor, about 26 percent of the state of Texas is an exceptional drought,” said Dr. Travis Miller, AgriLife Extension associate department head of the soil and crop sciences department. “Exceptional,” means it is a one-in-50-year occurrence, Miller explained. Much of the rest of the state is in what’s classified as moderate, severe or extreme drought. The distinctions are being based largely on how much damage and losses are expected to crops, forage production, livestock and water sources, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor classification scheme, found at http://www.drought.unl.edu/dm/classify.htm. “Statewide, it’s a pretty grim picture,” he said. “And it’s not just Texas; it’s New Mexico, Oklahoma, Louisiana and parts of Arkansas. It’s an exceptional drought across a big area.” - News Radio 1420.
According to Bloomberg's Business Week, the crop damage from these weather systems are growing exponentially.
Less than a year after the worst drought in a generation destroyed one-third of Russia’s wheat crop and sent global food prices surging, more bad weather is damaging fields from North America to Europe to Asia. Corn planting in the U.S., the world’s largest grower, is advancing at half of last year’s pace because of excess rain, government data show. The Canadian Wheat Board said fields are so muddy that only 3 percent of grain has been sown, compared with 40 percent normally. At the same time, drought left the Kansas wheat crop in the worst shape since 1996, and dry spells are threatening crops in France, Western Australia and China. While the growing season is still early for Northern Hemisphere exporters, corn futures as much as doubled in the past year as U.S. stockpiles headed for a 15-year low, and wheat futures are up 62 percent from a year earlier. The United Nations says global food costs advanced in April for the ninth time in 10 months, and higher commodity expenses led food makers including General Mills Inc. and McDonald’s Corp. to boost prices to consumers. “We needed everything to go perfectly, but there’s really a lot of potential for problems, based on these weather issues,” said Sterling Liddell, a vice president for food and agribusiness research at Rabo AgriFinance in St. Louis, who expects corn to reach a record $8 a bushel if conditions worsen. “It could be a very explosive situation, because we’re already so tight.”
Speaking of crops, the floods that are currently placing sections of America under a deluge of water is expected to delay the start of the U.S. grain export season.

The grain harvest in the U.S. South typically kicks off in August, and supplies are quickly grabbed by exporters to be shipped across the globe. But not this year. Massive flooding that has submerged about three million acres of crop land will delay the start of the export season in the world's top grain supplier. There will also be fewer supplies as farmers replant damaged crops or abandon them to claim insurance. Harvest of the southern corn and soybean crops precedes the larger one in the Midwest in mid-September, and supplies are routed to the nearby Gulf Coast, which handles about 60-65 per cent of grain exports from the U.S. But with Mississippi flooded after its namesake river crested near a record level on Tuesday, and Louisiana set for a deluge, the harvest will be delayed this year and yields for late-planted crops could also be lower. This could be a boon for Brazil and Argentina, the world's second- and third-largest soybean exporters, respectively, which have large corn and soy crops to sell. "Major importers will just seek corn elsewhere, maybe turn to South American supplies which seem to be ample enough in the export market," said Terry Reilly, an analyst with Citigroup. With U.S. corn stocks forecast to be the tightest since 1995-96 this summer and some Midwestern states likely to run low on supplies before the main harvest, end-users like cattle feeders were counting on the southern harvest for some relief. Nearly three million acres of farmland were underwater or expected to be flooded in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, according to farm industry sources in each of the states. - Alberta Farm Express.
As a result of this the U.S. Department of Agriculture believes that food prices will continue to rise further during 2011.
A federal study finds food prices will take a bigger bite out of Iowans’ food budgets this year. Rick Volpe, an economist with the U-S Department of Agriculture, says a trip to the grocery store will mean either less food in your cart or less money in your wallet. “It will be hard to pay roughly the same amount you paid in 2010,” Volpe says. “There is no question that the food budget is going up for a lot of households.” Volpe says the highest price hikes will be seen in the supermarket’s meat and dairy cases. “We’re forecasting a seven-to-eight-percent increase in retail beef prices and six-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half for pork,” he says. “Your milk, yogurt and cheese, we are forecasting about a five-percent increase.” Volpe says there are several reasons for the hike in food prices but the rising cost of fuel is foremost. Triple-A-Iowa says the statewide average for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gas is now three-92, more than a dollar higher than a year ago when the state average was two-85. He says those higher gas prices trickle down. “Fuel prices are up which increases production costs for all commodities but particularly for a lot of meat and dairy products,” he says. Even if you decide to cut back on meat and dairy consumption and fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, Volpe says you’ll still be paying more. “Fruits and vegetables, as a whole, to go up about three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half-percent,” Volpe says. “We’re forecasting an increase in poultry of about three-percent over 2010.” Volpe says livestock feeders also have to pay more for corn and that price hike is being passed along to consumers, too. - Radio Iowa.