August 23, 2012 |
The Midwest drought may not leave you with a whole lot of sympathy for corn farmers and producers of other commodity crops. Not only has the drought driven up prices allowing them to rake in beaucoup bucks -- NPR's Sam Charles has posted an eye-popping chart -- but these farmers will also receive crop insurance. But for small farmers, the drought has threatened their livelihood. Grist rounded up a handful of tweets with the hashtag #Drought12 to show how farmers are using social media to humanize their critical situation.
August 21, 2012 |
RIPPLE EFFECT Poor harvests caused by the U.S. drought could fuel food inflation and social discontent in China, the top foreign buyer of American soybeans. [Los Angeles Times] STARRY KITCHEN RETURNS Starry Kitchen has reopened as a permanent pop-up at Tiara Cafe in downtown L.A. Nguyen and Thi Tran are serving a pan-Asian family-style menu, including Singaporean chile crab, already a crowd favorite. [KPCC] PICNICKING IN PARIS Where to pick up picnic goods and then go enjoy them in Paris, including Le Marche des Enfants Rouges and Square du Temple, Rosa Bonheur and Buttes Chaumont, Epicerie Generale and Pont des Arts, and Bob's Juice and Canal St. Martin.
August 19, 2012 |
BEIJING - Construction laborer Yi Jichun has never heard of Illinois or Iowa. But the migrant worker's favorite comfort food comes straight out of the U.S. Midwest: soybean oil. The world's biggest consumers of edible oils, Chinese households have developed a taste for the stuff that would make a county fair fry cook proud. Be it a simple stir-fry, poached fish or deep-fried pork ribs, many Chinese diners love their grub covered in an oily sheen. Jugs of the golden liquid make popular gifts for Chinese New Year.
August 16, 2012 |
A poetic, almost abstract portrait of impoverished ranchers waiting for rain, Everardo Gonzalez's documentary "Drought" traces the parched terrain of northern Mexico, in the communal region called Cuates de Australia. The film provides little in the way of background or ongoing story, although a young couple's journey from prenatal ultrasound to birth provides a rough, and somewhat contrived, sense of progress. González (who served as his own cinematographer) occasionally engages his subjects from behind the camera, but he mainly observes with an outsider's patient eye. He keeps his distance, leaving room for plenty of thoughtfully framed compositions and allowing the hush of a dried-up land to predominate.
August 14, 2012 |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in a bid to help drought-stricken farmers, announced it would buy up to $170 million worth of meat from affected livestock producers. The prolonged Midwest drought has driven up feed costs for livestock farmers in affected areas, and the purchase of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish will provide some relief, the USDA said in a statement. Many farmers had been selling livestock as they struggled to feed their herds and flocks, creating a temporary surplus of meat and lowering prices.
August 13, 2012 |
In its latest move to provide relief to drought-stricken farmers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it would buy up to $170 million of meat from affected livestock producers. The prolonged Midwest drought has driven up feed costs for livestock farmers in affected areas, and the purchase of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish will provide some relief, the USDA said in a statement. The purchases will assist "producers who are currently struggling due to the challenging market conditions and the high cost of feed resulting from the widespread drought," Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak said in a statement.
August 11, 2012 |
The nation's punishing drought is pushing corn prices to record levels as the government predicted Friday that this season's yield will fall 15.5% to its lowest since 1995. In cutting its estimate for the corn crop, theU.S. Department of Agricultureraised the upper end of its price forecast by 39% to $8.90 a bushel. In early June, corn futures were selling at just over $5 a bushel. The U.S. is the world's largest producer of corn, but harsh weather conditions in Europe and Brazil also are reducing the global supply of grains such as corn, a key ingredient in processed foods, animal feed and ethanol fuel.
August 10, 2012 |
The punishing Midwest drought is expected to reduce the nation's corn crop to its lowest level in almost two decades. On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture cut its estimate for the corn crop by nearly 17% and raised the upper end of its price forecast by 39% to almost $9 a bushel. In its report , the USDA forecast the nation's corn yield to be about 123.4 bushels per acre -- the lowest level in 17 years. The agency also revised its previous price predictions.
August 4, 2012 |
Firefighting crews battled triple-digit heat, dry winds and multiple wildfires Saturday that scorched dozens of homes and miles of dry grassland near Oklahoma City and Tulsa, officials said. Some of the fires, but not all, were under control Saturday. Columns of smoke blackened the sky and threatened grasslands that have become tinder in the most severe drought the United States has seen since 1956. Hundreds of people in four counties evacuated Friday. Authorities closed two state highways and parts of Interstate 44 - the freeway that cuts between Oklahoma City and Tulsa - for several hours Friday night. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin toured Luther, Okla., a small town north of Oklahoma City, on Saturday morning, calling the fire and its damage “heartbreaking.” Photos: Drought in the Midwest Officials estimate 47 homes and other buildings were damaged in the flames near Luther, where about 4 square miles were burned.
August 1, 2012 |
More than half of the counties in the United States have been designated as disaster areas mainly because of the ongoing drought that has been ravaging the nation, officials announced Wednesday. Disaster designations were signed for 218 more counties in 12 states, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced. That brings this year's total to 1,584 counties in 32 states; more than 90% of those designations are due to drought conditions. The latest designations were in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming.