Signs of global crop failures or just normal fluctuations

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Imagine, were seeing Seventy Degree's in this neck of the wood's today. A new record.
We may see some wild swings in the near future according to Oppenheimer Ranch Project.



California farmers to see paltry federal water deliveries as drought’s stranglehold tightens
NICK CAHILL / February 23, 2022
Another year of drought conditions has forced the feds to again restrict the amount of water sent to farmers in California's agricultural heartland.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — Following two months of barren weather reports, California farmers received the most disappointing forecast yet Wednesday as the federal government warned many districts in the state’s agricultural heartland won’t get surface water deliveries in 2022.

The initial water allocation update by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the massive Central Valley Project, reflects the increasing severity of California’s drought, and means some Central Valley farmers could go without federally subsidized water for the second consecutive year. Reclamation officials said low spring runoff forecasts are forcing them to cautiously guard the meager amount of water currently stored behind Shasta Dam, the cornerstone of the federal water project.

The Golden State’s traditional rainy season thus far has been a back-and-forth affair, characterized by brief periods of extreme rain and snow followed by monthslong stretches of abnormally dry weather.

Parts of the state saw record amounts of rainfall thanks to a late October storm, but bone-dry conditions returned in November. A week of strong storms brought widespread drought relief in December, but much of the state has seen little to no precipitation since Jan. 1.

The lack of recent rain and snow has reservoir levels plummeting at a time when they should be filling up from runoff. According to state data, Shasta Lake sits at just 53% of its historical average for this time of the year.

Ernest Conant, bureau director of the Mid-Pacific Region, says Shasta and the upper Sacramento Valley unfortunately missed out on much of the beneficial December storms.

“We began the 2022 water year with low Central Valley Project reservoir storage and some weather whiplash, starting with a record day of Sacramento rainfall in October and snow-packed December storms to a very dry January and February, which are on pace to be the driest on record,” Conant said in a statement. “Further, the December storms disproportionately played out this year in the headwaters — heavy in the American River Basin and unfortunately light in the upper Sacramento River Basin.”

Per Wednesday’s announcement, irrigation districts south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta stand to receive no water from Shasta and the project’s associated canals. Delta contractors are slated to fare better with 25% of their historical use while the Friant Division contractors, whose water supply comes from the upper San Joaquin River, will receive a zero to 15% allocation depending on seniority.

For the fourth time in the last 10 years, Westlands Water District and other south-of-delta contractors are facing the prospect of a zero percent allocation.
The nation’s largest agricultural water supplier which helps irrigate over 1,000 square miles of farmland in Fresno and Kings counties, says similar drought conditions in 2021 caused farmers to fallow over 200,000 acres.

In a statement, the district said it was “disappointed” with the initial allocation but understands the bureau must conserve water to meet state water quality and environmental standards. It added the current conditions demand a stronger response from California.

“The circumstances in 2021 and those facing us in 2022 demonstrate the need to invest in infrastructure to better manage the state’s water resources, which includes increased capacity to capture water when its available for transport and use in times of drought,” a district spokesperson said. “California needs new storage, both surface and groundwater and improved conveyance facilities.”

The Friant Water Authority reacted more bluntly, saying snowpack levels in the southern Sierra Nevada should warrant more water for growers. It warned the insufficient allocations will force Central Valley farmers to increase reliance on groundwater at a time when the state is striving to recharge depleted aquifers.

“Even if the remainder of the year is extremely dry, Friant Water Authority estimates that approximately 240,000 acre-feet of additional unallocated water supply exists in the upper San Joaquin watershed,” the authority claimed in a statement. “Not allocating water that is clearly available will only exacerbate an unnecessary rush to pump groundwater, causing additional overdraft.”

Congressman David Valadao, whose district covers a large swath of the Central Valley, called the allocations “unacceptably low.”

“This community is resilient, but the fact remains that our farms will not survive without a reliable water supply for south-of-delta agriculture,” said Valadao, R-Hanford.

Nearly three months ago California officials gave a similar preliminary allocation forecast for customers of the State Water Project. But following the December storms, the Department of Water Resources now expects to be able to deliver 15% of requested supplies.

Though there’s still a chance the federal allocations will change this spring, the bureau isn’t overly confident farmers will see much of a boost.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us this year; strengthened collaboration and coordination among agency partners, water and power users and stakeholders will be instrumental,” Conant said.



Dry Year Ahead for Lake Oroville
Mar 1, 2022


Lake Mead/Hoover Dam NV. Water Level Update
Feb 22, 2022


Lake Shasta Reservoir
Feb 15, 2022


Lake Powell Water Level Near Critical Point
Feb 8, 2022

Meanwhile in Europe:

 

iamthatis

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Drought on the prairies in Canada this year led to a poor hay harvest. Now prices have gone from $50/bale to $200/bale. Livestock operations and horse farmers are feeling the price hike. Apparently the SPCA (an animal protection organization) has been able to take care of some animals. But other than that, there seems to be no relief in sight. While farmers suffer and their animals go hungry, Canada is shipping weapons to Ukrainian Nazis. Despicable.

 

Chad

SuperModerator
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FOTCM Member
Just to note the looming drought conditions that are being reported in the UK - with 'only half of the average rainfall' - and France, that is threatening some crops (and this is in addition to the fertilizer shortage). Reports are that no significant rain is in sight for either region:

France, most recent update:

[Update] Looking up, we notice that the drought will affect all French soft wheat production areas, but also German, Polish, Belgian & Czech. During the crucial phase of bolting (establishment of number of ears/plant & grains/ear).


Previous update:
[Drought] By May 11, the drought should extend to all soft wheat production areas, 1/2 of durum wheat and 3/4 of barley. The Paris Basin (extended) would be particularly concerned. No significant rain in sight... #FrAgTw


This drought occurs during crucial phases of yield establishment. It is already beginning to nibble at the potential. This cartography comes from Windy. It takes into account the water content of the soil and the weather forecast.

An idea of the situation in most of the UK:


Article from the UK:


Dry April heightens drought fears for farmers​




© Tim Scrivener
© Tim Scrivener

A dry April has raised concerns the UK could be headed for a drought and left farmers desperate for rain to soak parched crops and grassland.

April has been notably dry, with only around half the normal amount of rainfall in England and Wales.

The outlook is for the month to finish with a mostly dry week, but any chances of significant rainfall do not look likely for some time.
See also: So you want to… build a reservoir?
Farmers across the UK need a spell of wet weather to help wash in fertiliser that has been applied in recent weeks at great cost, owing to soaring input prices.

“The weather is just so contrary these days,” said Guy Smith, who farms 350ha in St Osyth, Essex, the driest part of the UK on average.

“In this patch of Essex, having struggled with too much rain in the autumn and not getting crops established, we seem to be straight into the spring drought.

“Spring drilling was done in reasonably good conditions. Some crops are up nicely, but others on less than decent seedbeds are now really struggling.”


Fertiliser ‘sat on top of ground’​

Having just applied expensive fertiliser, and then to see it sitting on the top of the ground and not doing anything due to a lack of rainfall was “all a bit frustrating”, said Mr Smith.

He continued: “As the old saying goes, ‘a wind from the East is no good for man nor beast’ – and that’s exactly what we have got. We need south-westerly breezes.”

But Mr Smith remains hopeful that showers in May will come to rescue the situation and avert a crisis.

“I’m not getting too down in the mouth yet,” he said. I’m hopeful the weather will come right for farmers.”

Explore moreKnow How​


Visit our Know How centre for practical farming advice

In Norfolk, arable farmer Kit Papworth posted a photo on his Twitter page of him irrigating cereal crops. He said: “Sign of the times. Irrigating cereals in April.”


Rob Gardner, farm manager at Manor Farm in Upton Grey, near Basingstoke, Hampshire said spring crops, including peas, beans and wheat had emerged well, but now needed rain.

“It’s becoming a worry. If we get rain in the next week, we’ll all be very happy,” he said. “If it stays dry over the next two to three weeks, it will start to have more of an impact on the spring crops than the winter crops.”

‘Not critical yet’​

Dairy farmer David Christensen manages 950 milking cows across two units in Oxfordshire, where he farms around 600ha, including 132ha of maize.
Mr Christensen said he was feeling “cautiously nervous” about the lack of rainfall. “It’s been a dry winter, followed by a dry spring and it’s very dry around the farm,” he said.

“If we get an inch or so of rain in the next fortnight, the situation could change markedly. But there’s no sign of that.

“It’s not critical yet, but it will soon be unless we get some rain over the next two to three weeks.”


Mr Christensen is not too concerned about his silage, as he expects to take his first cut in mid-May of grass grown on heavy land. However, he has established a lot of maize in the past week, which “now needs a drink”.

Dry May forecast​

According to the Met Office, most of the UK has had lower than average rainfall this month, although northern Scotland has been wetter than average.
Its long-range forecast predicts that start of May will be dry, with cold nights and frosty mornings possible in rural areas. “A few showers are likely at times particularly for the North and East, where they could be heavy,” it says.

Dry, settled weather is forecast for much of the UK from mid- to end of May, with a chance of showers in places, but a lower risk of prolonged rain.
 
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Aeneas

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I just saw this and apparently Russia is expecting a good grain crop this year. This would be a good thing

I found this article from February: Experts of Russian grain market voice first forecasts of grain production in 2022

Experts of Russian grain market voice first forecasts of grain production in 2022​

Source
APK-Inform
2671

11:43 | Feb 9, 2022
Experts of Russian grain market voice their first forecasts of grain production in 2022 expecting higher output. At the same time, the weather factor should be watched as the massive snow cover combined with warm weather generate the risk of formation of ice coating and winterkilling to crops, informed Интерфакс.
Vladimir Petrichenko, general director of ProZerno, forecasts grain crop at 130.2 mln tonnes in 2022, including 83 mln tonnes of wheat.
This figure is based on very good condition of winter crops”, – he said adding that the area under winter grains was reduced, however, the harvesting are would be higher than the year ago.
Igor Pavensky, head of the analytical center at Rusagrotrans JSC, expects higher grain production as well.
“There are risks of formation of ice coating, overwatering of fields after snow melting, dry conditions in May-June”, – he said forecasting wheat crop at 81.4 mln tonnes, – “If the risks would not come true, the production of wheat may reach 83-84 mln tonnes. We pegged the overall grain crop at 128 mln tonnes”.
Russian Grain Union forecasts grain production in Russia in 2022 at 125-127 mln tonnes, including 81 mln tonnes of wheat.
Alexander Korbut, vice-president of Russian Grain Union, also pointed out the risks of ice coating that can badly hurt winter crops.
According to preliminary official data, Russia harvested 120.7 mln tonnes of grain, including 75.9 mln tonnes of wheat in 2021.
AND, here is a fresh article, which paints an even rosier picture and in the same vein as the Tweet.

Russia to harvest record wheat crop​

Source
APK-Inform
1003

09:26 | May 6, 2022
Russia will harvest 87 mln tonnes of wheat in 2022, up from a record 86 mln tonnes produced in 2017, forecasts Elena Turina head of analytics department of Russian Grain Union.
Particularly, winter wheat crop will reach 64 mln tonnes compared to 53 mln tonnes in 2021.
As to the spring planting, she mentioned quite positive dynamics.
“Today, most of regions, particularly, in Siberia, Volga, central part are going to extend planted area under spring crops. Russia produced 23 mln tonnes of spring wheat last year. The crop can reach 23.5 mln tonnes in 2022. Thus, the overall production of wheat will exceed 87 mln tonnes”, – E. Turina said.
She gingerly pinned the total production of grains and pulses at 130 mln tonnes.
In that light it makes even less sense that Russia is stealing grains from Ukraine. It appears that it is rather NATO countries which are stealing the grains from Ukraine.


Russia having a good grain harvest this year, will make Russia an even more attractive partner to deal with. Something which the BRICS+ and the NAM (Non-aligned Movement) countries will be happy to do, not least in light of possible coming food shortages.
 

Aeneas

Ambassador
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I found this interesting as it goes against the Western narrative. It is an opinion piece by Maria Zakharova on Telegram: Russian MFA 🇷🇺

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) posted (FAO Cereal Supply and Demand Brief | World Food Situation | Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) a consolidated list of grain production data for the 2021/2022 season on its website.

The figures provided by experts show that according to the 2021/2022 agricultural year results, the global grain production is expected to reach 2.8 billion tonnes, which is more than in the 2019/2020 season. The grain carryover will amount to a record high of 850 million tonnes (much higher than last year). According to the results of the current agricultural year, the stocks-to-use ratio will amount to 30.5 percent, which is above average as well.

That means there will be more grain in the world.

Now, let's take a look at the trade transaction data. Anticipated grain trade volumes are higher than in the 2019/2020 season at 439.2 million tonnes. Separate data for wheat are available. The physical level of stocks and the volume of trade in this commodity will increase to 192 million tonnes (up by 1.5 percent compared to the previous period). Similar dynamics are anticipated in feed grain and rice production and trade.

Here's why this is important.

Representatives of the West are using every platform, including the UN, to accuse Russia of reducing the amount of grain available on the market through its actions, allegedly throwing a wrench in grain operations which, according to the West, has sent prices for wheat and other grains up.

In reality, though, there’s more grain on the market than in previous years, and trade is up as well.

It turns out that the price (which is growing, indeed) is not growing because of Russia's actions. The cause of that is a separate matter, and experts are coming up with different explanations.

However, general conclusions can be drawn:
1. Systematic errors made by the West when making forecasts for its agricultural policy.
2. Global inflation caused by short-sighted financial and monetary mechanisms that the West used during the pandemic.
3. The ill-conceived transition of Europe and North America to green energy based on the forced introduction of bio fuel technologies.
4. Illegitimate sanctions that have disrupted the established commodity-money chains.


With regard to whether famine is a realistic scenario, experts increasingly foresee a pessimistic outcome. They believe that many nations will be impacted and even more will become destitute.

The Western regimes that instigate and cause destruction should be blamed for that.
 

Chad

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An agrometeorologist details how France's government figures are concealing just how badly affected the production of wheat in France has been by the drought and heatwaves:

Translations of tweets:
1:
[Thread] Reassuring messages are circulating on the estimate of NATIONAL wheat production. "Only" -5.8% compared to 2016-22 (Agreste). This national figure hides the reality of #[drought] : the figures are much worse at the departmental level. Explanations

Which, if i'm remembering correctly, reminds me of the C's comment that the authorities are hiding the true figures of crop failures.

2:
Behind these reassuring messages, a slightly more advanced analysis shows that the majority of the sees its returns fall. Except in the far north. However, this is where 300,000 ha of wheat are grown! Nord-Pas-De-Calais is catching up with part of the decline in the rest of France.

However he adds in Tweet #3 (not shown below) that the floods of 2016 actually resulted in a worst harvest than this year:

It is not reassuring to think that part of the production is saved by a few departments. It is not a disaster either: we are still far from the sharp fall of 2016, marked by major floods. These figures are estimates from l'Agreste.


I read recently that a lack of fertilizer at particular times of the growing season can leave corn more susceptible to drought and, so it's possible that these two issues are actually going to make harvest worse than it would have been with just the drought.
 
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Aeneas

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I just saw this and apparently Russia is expecting a good grain crop this year. This would be a good thing
The above was the forecast and now the result it starting to come in as the harvest season is almost finished in Russia. And it has been a record year.

Russia’s grain harvest hits all-time high​

This year’s crop has already exceeded 147 million tons, the country’s Agriculture Ministry has said
Russia’s grain harvest hits all-time high

© Getty Images / Edwin Remsberg
Russia’s grain harvest this year has already set a new record, the country’s Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday on its official Telegram channel.
To date, 147.5 million tons in bunker weight have been harvested, with harvesting still ongoing,” the ministry announced.
Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev later confirmed the figure at a staff meeting of the ministry.
We expect to reap a maximum of 150 million tons. Of course, this is an absolute success for our farmers and the Russian agriculture industry as a whole,” he stated.
The previous record had been set in 2017, when the country reaped 135.5 million tons of grain, including 86 million tons of wheat.
This year, the wheat harvest is expected to reach 100 million tons.
Patrushev recently said that Russia’s newly joined territories, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, would add about 5 million tons of grain per year to Russia’s overall crop.

Russia is the largest wheat exporter in the world, followed by Canada and the US. The country has already delivered about 8.3 million tons of grain to foreign markets in the 2022 agricultural year, which began on June 1. It expects to export around 50 million tons in total by July 30, 2023.
The wheat harvest was forecasted to be 86 million tons, but now it is expected to reach 100 million tons, which is a stunning record.
The Gods appears to be smiling on Russia, while not so much on the Western ruled based world.
Is the universe letting it be known which side it blesses? It brings the Mandate of Heaven, to mind.
 

dennis

Jedi Master
Drought conditions continue in North America. I know Europe has had similar experience. Here are some reports and monitoring websites. Where I live in the SE USA the maps underestimate the drought conditions.

TEFE, Brazil (AP) — Just months after enduring floods that destroyed crops and submerged entire communities, thousands of families in the Brazilian Amazon are now dealing with severe drought that, at least in some areas, is the worst in decades. The low level of the Amazon River, at the center of the largest drainage system in the world, has put dozens of municipalities under alert.

From August:
Rainfall in the Yangtze basin has been around 45% lower than normal since July and high temperatures are likely to persist for at least another week, official forecasts said.

As many as 66 rivers across 34 counties in Chongqing have dried up, state broadcaster CCTV said on Friday.

From one month ago:

The continuous drought in many parts of the Yangtze River Basin has exceeded 70 days. Has China's rain belt moved north?​

9/26/2022, 7:46:19 AM

According to statistics, since July, the cumulative rainfall in the Yangtze River Basin of China has been nearly 50% lower than the same period of the previous year, which is the lowest in the historical period since complete data were available in 1961. Chen Lijuan said that it is expected that in the late autumn (October-November), the precipitation in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River will be close to the same period of normal years to slightly more, but the precipitation in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River will be 20 to 50% lower than the same period of normal years.


 

dennis

Jedi Master
High barometric pressure inhibits cloud formation, low pressure systems bring rain. How the electro-magnetic environment influences this would be an interesting area of study. There could be a negative feedback loop effect. Anecdotally, we always observed that summer thunderstorm cells always seemed to follow the flow of a nearby river.

Atoms and molecules in the air move constantly, in all directions. This movement creates what meteorologists measure as air pressure. In high-pressure systems, the molecules inside the system move faster than those that surround it. The opposite occurs in low-pressure systems, where the air inside the low is moving more slowly than in the surrounding area. Meteorologists do not define a set pressure for highs or lows. Instead, they define the system by comparing the pressure inside the system to the pressure outside it.

Air is more dense in a region of high pressure, so the air pushes out toward less dense regions. The air mass begins to warm as it descends, which retards the formation of clouds. The presence of clouds indicates that rain may be present in the air. High-pressure systems typically have light clouds or no clouds at all, indicating fair weather without rain. In a region of low pressure, the air rises. As it does, the air mass cools and clouds form from the humidity inside the air mass.

This map currently shows high pressure systems predominant around the globe in low to mid latitudes on both sides of the equator with only few exceptions.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
France's drought may swing hard in 2023.

"The levels of the December aquifers are unsatisfactory. Indeed, the rains infiltrated during the autumn are very insufficient to compensate for the deficits accumulated during the year 2022 and to improve the state of the aquifers in the long term" according to @BRGM_fr
Line-2
State of groundwater tables on 1 January 2023 In December, levels are significantly lower than last year. Read the full newsletter: https://brgm.fr/fr/actualite/communique-presse/nappes-eau-souterraine-au-1er-janvier-2023 #eau #environnement #climat

 

Aeneas

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The above was the forecast and now the result it starting to come in as the harvest season is almost finished in Russia. And it has been a record year.
The final numbers are in according to RT and it was a record year with an increase of 26% compared to the year before.

Russia reaps bumper grain harvest – data​

Production in 2022 exceeded 150 million tons, the state statistics agency said

Russia collected its largest grain crop on record last year, Rosstat, the country’s official statistics agency, said on Monday.
According to the latest data, the harvest amounted to 153.8 million tons, a 26.7% increase year-on-year against 2021. The figure surpassed earlier official projections, which forecast that the crop would amount to 150 million tons. Data shows that the wheat harvest alone reached 104.4 million tons last year.
The previous grain harvest record was set by the country in 2017, when it collected 135.5 million tons.
Commenting on preliminary harvest figures last month, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev noted that the record results had been achieved due to an increase in yields, which over the past five years rose from 25 to 34 quintals per hectare. In addition, according to Rosstat, the area sown with grain crops also increased in 2022.
Russia is also expected to retain its position as the largest wheat exporter in the world, despite Western sanctions that pose problems for the country’s trade. Speaking at a governmental meeting on December 15, President Vladimir Putin said that, over the past five months, Russia had exported around 22 million tons of grain, and is expected to deliver up to 50 million tons by the end of the agricultural year on June 30. Industry experts predict even larger export volumes, up to 57 million tons, due to high demand for Russian agricultural products.

The current rapid growth of exports is based on strong sales since early October, when Russian wheat began to regain its competitive advantages. In October-November, Russian wheat was cheaper than French wheat by $10-25 per ton on FOB basis, although in previous months the spread was close to zero,” SovEcon analysts told Forbes Russia.
As the article says, then wheat alone was 104.4 million tons. To put that in perspective:
Russia had before 2016 never produced more than 64MT and as a matter of fact most often a lot less as can be seen here. Since then the harvest have been above 70MT per year. Here are the figures from the above link:

2016: 73.3MT
2017: 85.9MT (above it says 85.17, so there is a small discrepancy)
2018: 71.7MT
2019: 72.5MT (forecast, though the harvest should be finished by now, so it would just be a fine tuning of those numbers).
The following gives the production of wheat for the top 12 countries in the period 2011-2020. 2021 is not available on Wikipedia.
Wheat crop from 2011-2020 by country.gif
As the article says, then higher yields was one of the main reasons, though greater acreage was also a factor. I wonder if the new Russian incorporated regions in the Donbass are included.

Edit: Minor changes for clarity and highlighting of issues.
 

Aeneas

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I saw this article, which can help to understand some of the fluctuations. It is about how there is an increase in the planting of corn versus other cereals such as wheat and rice depending on regions.

In the article one can find this image, which shows the difference between 1981 and 2021 in what is grown in some main countries:
29120.jpeg


It doesn't show Russia, which is the main exporter of wheat, but I think the reason is that it wasn't really the focus of the article.

One of the advantages with corn is that it is planted in spring, whereas with winter wheat this is not the case. In recent years I have gotten the impression that a lot of winter wheat got destroyed due to climate conditions, which would have meant that spring plantings of an alternative would have been needed (which means extra outlay of money).
Corn has down sides too, especially if the growing seasons get shorter.
 
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