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The Grand Solar Minimum
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  1. #4121
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    Cheers me up every time I think about it.
    Civilization needs a re-set.
    We have the Constitution and a written mandate for getting rid of enemies foreign and domestic. Civilians as well as military have this duty. I cannot wait for the reset. If people in this country are too craven to do it, Mother Nature has no problem doing so. Bring it down. Good people should not have to live among monsters.
    Last edited by Seeker22; 05-14-2019 at 03:43 PM.
    No one ever rescues an old dog. They lay in a cage until they die. PLEASE save one. None of us wants to die cold and alone... --Dennis Olson

    Mo is my One.

  2. #4122
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Paradise, New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,208
    Summerthyme, I feel your anxiety over the hay harvest. Last year with the wet ground, the hay just wouldn't dry no matter how many times we tedded it. Everyone was complaining about the situation but I guess misery loves company since we all commiserated with one another and felt better knowing it wasn't our fault. Customers thought we were all mismanaging our fields and whined about the dismal first cut crop. It's hard to explain to them that without that first cut, there'll be no second cut and that's all most horse and goat people want to buy. It was so bad last year that our co-op demanded that we purchase a moisture meter for the baler (as if we had a choice, feed or mulch) lol!

    My plan this year, if the season is as bad as last year, is to add another steer to the mix so I can feed out haylage to the entire herd (Goats & Beef) without the round going bad before they can consume it all. I usually get eight to ten days to each bale if I have two steers along with the goats, so that's only about 25 to 30 rounds at $45 each. Where it can be stored outside (as long as the crows don't damage the wrap), the labor savings is much appreciated as I age. I leave it near the gate and put one in the round feeder with the tractor when needed. A lot less work than stacking squares in the barn and then carrying them down and out to the feeders (manually).

    The high tunnel allows us control over most of the aspects of the environment within, so we're not concerned about the rain as regards the greens, peppers, beans etc. though it would be nice to see some sun occasionally. We grow mostly dry beans like Navy, Soldier and Kidney as they store easily without the need to can them. The few plants of string beans that we grow are consumed in season. We love baked beans or chili, and burgers or hot dogs throughout the Winter months so this seems to suit us the best. It also gives us something to do while sitting in front of the wood stove in the Fall ... shelling them. The potatoes and garlic end up in the root cellar with most everything else being canned. That root cellar makes an excellent place to store the feta cheese too. Soft cheeses like Queso Blanco don't keep so they get frozen. We use a lot of that for lasagna and stuffed shells as well as feeding the dog, so that's my primary cheese.

    Ok, I figured out why I digressed to talking about food... it's supper time and I'm starved!
    “Don’t pick a fight, but if you find yourself in one, I suggest you make damn sure you win.” - John Wayne

  3. #4123
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    Thanks, alpha! Good to see others join in.

    Our almost-200 mile trip from the southern border to Lake Ontario in western .NY state was sobering. Almost nothing is planted... most fields haven't even been plowed yet. We did see a few which appeared to have been sprayed (probably with Round-up, in preparation for no-till seeding), but it looks like things are a solid month behind.

    We've had temps in the low 40's with rain, after seeing 32 degrees Friday night.. the cherries, peach and pkum were in full bloom, but i won't know how much damage there was for awhile. We've had another 2" of rain since Friday... the garden has standing water, slthough the onion plants look good.

    Butwe escaped the major storms that swept across the state to the East of us again... this is the third year we've observed this pattern, both in winter and during the growing season. We've gotten plenty (too much) moisture, but just east and North of us have gotten much, much more. Our son reports that from the Finger Lakes east, there is almost no fieldwork done at all, and they generally are a week or two ahead of us.

    Pastures and hay fields are growing abundantly, but I'm starting to worry about how we'll manage to harvest hay, especially dry hay, if this pattern continues.

    I'm going to be pre-sprouting all my vine crop seeds this week, hoping that we'll get some suitable weather that will allow us to get into the garden with the Troybilt tiller at least (hubby did get the main garden tilled with the tractor mounted tiller last week... we'd prefer to use it again for the finish preparation, as the Troybilt is getting harder for us to handle due to old spinal injuries. We can do it easily enough,.. we just pay for it later.

    I'm also going to pre-sprout some sweet corn and hand plant a few short rows... early sweetcorn is worth the extra work, plus I'm using some older seed (stored in the freezer... it grew well last year, but there were gaps in the rows) and this way I can be assured of full rows, which are vital for weed control and good pollination.

    I found seed for a pole bean version of the Blue Lake green bean, and will be growing a short row, to see how it does for us. Pole beans are much more productive per foot of row or plant, and we have plenty of livestock panels we can use for a trellis. If we like them (we're not fans of most pole beans, which are generally flat pods) I think they'll be m7ch easier for us to pick than the bush beans, which require so much bending. Plus, well trellised, they will be up off the ground, and saving seed should be much easier... my bush beans have suffered badly from mold and rot the past two years. Now I just need to find a pole version of a modern round yellow bean!

    Our little milk cow is giving us between 2 and 3 gallons of milk a day (on top of what her calf takes) so I'm constantly having to make butter and cheese... almost daily, as I don't have enough refrigerator space or gallon jars to hokd more than 2 days worth. Most of the cheese is just a simple fresh cheese that i freeze for dog food... I make 5# or so of mozzerella a week for our use... it's SO good fresh!

    The weather looks much better for the week starting tomorrow... I hope our bodies will hold up to everything we need to do to catch up! Ha!

    Summerthyme
    Same here in northern Illinois; the farmers have still done ABSOLUTELY nothing; no plowing, no fertilizing, or seeding.

    Normally all of this would have been done weeks ago.

    To be fair about it, the weeds aren't growing either.

    If they do manage to get a planting in [usually corn] it would have to be an almost perfect growing season to get anywhere a normal yield.

    By the way, how is your "studmuffin" dexter bull doing? What did you decide what to do with him?

    von Koehler
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  4. #4124
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    East Central Texas
    Posts
    2,737
    alpha, that was a great post, thank you!

    We are hay purchasers, and we appreciate all you do, without complaint. We were all impacted by excessive rain down here and experienced much the same conditions. Round bales down here were/are running $79 a bale. Squares went from $8.75 to $13.00 and haven't gone back down. We've used both, but we've been favoring squares even with all the manual input of stacking and then feeding out. We may ultimately have to go back to rounds as we age (mid 60s now).

    We all have wet pastures here and haven't seen any cutting yet. We are concerned we're heading into the same hay situation as last year, which was just terrible.

    Our next big rain is supposed to be Saturday, and everyone is working like crazy trying to catch up on pasture chores and gardening. If we can get a break pastures may dry enough for equipment to get in. Our are just for grazing, and we still have boggy/water streaming conditions. We're actually gaining a bit of ground on getting our raised beds in.

  5. #4125
    BB King (studmuffin Dexter bull... LOL!) Is resting up for breeding season, loafing in the heifer barn with a group of yearling steers. He's not happy about it... We've got 13 calves on the ground, and the cows are starting to cycle again, and he's frustrated!

    He'll be turned out with all unrelated animals June 1st. We were blessed to find a registered yearling bull at a very attractive price to breed the 14 heifers and related cows we can't use BB on. They'll have to be isolated in the freestall barn (rather than on pasture) until he gets them pregnant, but if he's a typical Dexter, that should take about a month! LOL!

    And the breeder took one look at some pics of BB and wants to buy him for a senior herd bull! Since we really won't be able to use him after this year (just too many daughters), he has to go. We were thinking of turning him into a steer and butchering him, but I hated to! He's coming 4 years old, is massive and still has a sweet tractable disposition. We still havent seen any hint of the sullen, truculent look many (most) bulls develop as they mature. Not that we trust him! But he definitely is a valuable breeder, and the idea of him being able to continue enjoying life and passing on his valuable genes is rewarding.

    His offspring are some of the most uniform animls I've seen, and he passes his disposition on... important to us as we get older. I'm definitely beyond tolerating nasty or aggressive cows!

    I don't know if we'll be keeping the beef cattle much longer... if we can't find a way to market the beef, we'll have to disperse the herd. There really are just too many small beef herds around... it seems every dairy farmer who got out or retired decided to raise beef. Few put the effort into it that we do, or get the results we do (we've had a 100% live calf crop 3 years running), but the market is saturated and super competitive. We're working on it, but this is going to be a make or break year.

    In the meantime, we're building more fences to create more paddocks which can be used to graze either Dexters or hogs... we'll have a 20 acre woods pasture this summer that can graze hogs with little added input as far as grain. There are oaks, hazelnuts, beechnuts, all sorts of wild roots and tubers, as well as plenty of grassy, open areas for grazing. The extra skim milk from the milk cow is valuable hog feed, if we get more dog cheese in the freezer than we need.

    For sure, farming is always a challenge! And the GSM is only mak8ng it more challenging. I wonder how many will be up to it...

    Summerthyme

  6. #4126
    I wonder how many of the few "family" farms left will just give up and entrench to just growing for their own?

    von Koehler
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  7. #4127
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    East Central Texas
    Posts
    2,737
    Oh summerthyme, I love your post! I STILL miss our first registered Dexter bull, he was from a well-known line and had an absolutely a wonderful temperament. It broke my heart to sell him, but he sired all our heifers, and like you we needed different genetics. We didn't want to put him in the freezer, and thankfully it didn't take us long to sell him. I can still spot his genetics in our herd, he passed on his beautiful big eyes and that great temperament.

  8. #4128
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    BB King (studmuffin Dexter bull... LOL!) Is resting up for breeding season, loafing in the heifer barn with a group of yearling steers. He's not happy about it... We've got 13 calves on the ground, and the cows are starting to cycle again, and he's frustrated!

    He'll be turned out with all unrelated animals June 1st. We were blessed to find a registered yearling bull at a very attractive price to breed the 14 heifers and related cows we can't use BB on. They'll have to be isolated in the freestall barn (rather than on pasture) until he gets them pregnant, but if he's a typical Dexter, that should take about a month! LOL!

    And the breeder took one look at some pics of BB and wants to buy him for a senior herd bull! Since we really won't be able to use him after this year (just too many daughters), he has to go. We were thinking of turning him into a steer and butchering him, but I hated to! He's coming 4 years old, is massive and still has a sweet tractable disposition. We still havent seen any hint of the sullen, truculent look many (most) bulls develop as they mature. Not that we trust him! But he definitely is a valuable breeder, and the idea of him being able to continue enjoying life and passing on his valuable genes is rewarding.

    His offspring are some of the most uniform animls I've seen, and he passes his disposition on... important to us as we get older. I'm definitely beyond tolerating nasty or aggressive cows!

    I don't know if we'll be keeping the beef cattle much longer... if we can't find a way to market the beef, we'll have to disperse the herd. There really are just too many small beef herds around... it seems every dairy farmer who got out or retired decided to raise beef. Few put the effort into it that we do, or get the results we do (we've had a 100% live calf crop 3 years running), but the market is saturated and super competitive. We're working on it, but this is going to be a make or break year.

    In the meantime, we're building more fences to create more paddocks which can be used to graze either Dexters or hogs... we'll have a 20 acre woods pasture this summer that can graze hogs with little added input as far as grain. There are oaks, hazelnuts, beechnuts, all sorts of wild roots and tubers, as well as plenty of grassy, open areas for grazing. The extra skim milk from the milk cow is valuable hog feed, if we get more dog cheese in the freezer than we need.

    For sure, farming is always a challenge! And the GSM is only mak8ng it more challenging. I wonder how many will be up to it...

    Summerthyme
    Have you considered either Tamworth or Red Wattle rare pig breeds? Both are considered to be very good grazers and mast eaters. Red Wattle pigs have been highly rated for the favor of their meat. Might even be able to sell surplus pigets as feeders at a profit.

    von Koehler
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  9. #4129
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post
    BB King (studmuffin Dexter bull... LOL!) Is resting up for breeding season, loafing in the heifer barn with a group of yearling steers. He's not happy about it... We've got 13 calves on the ground, and the cows are starting to cycle again, and he's frustrated!

    He'll be turned out with all unrelated animals June 1st. We were blessed to find a registered yearling bull at a very attractive price to breed the 14 heifers and related cows we can't use BB on. They'll have to be isolated in the freestall barn (rather than on pasture) until he gets them pregnant, but if he's a typical Dexter, that should take about a month! LOL!

    And the breeder took one look at some pics of BB and wants to buy him for a senior herd bull! Since we really won't be able to use him after this year (just too many daughters), he has to go. We were thinking of turning him into a steer and butchering him, but I hated to! He's coming 4 years old, is massive and still has a sweet tractable disposition. We still havent seen any hint of the sullen, truculent look many (most) bulls develop as they mature. Not that we trust him! But he definitely is a valuable breeder, and the idea of him being able to continue enjoying life and passing on his valuable genes is rewarding.

    His offspring are some of the most uniform animls I've seen, and he passes his disposition on... important to us as we get older. I'm definitely beyond tolerating nasty or aggressive cows!

    I don't know if we'll be keeping the beef cattle much longer... if we can't find a way to market the beef, we'll have to disperse the herd. There really are just too many small beef herds around... it seems every dairy farmer who got out or retired decided to raise beef. Few put the effort into it that we do, or get the results we do (we've had a 100% live calf crop 3 years running), but the market is saturated and super competitive. We're working on it, but this is going to be a make or break year.

    In the meantime, we're building more fences to create more paddocks which can be used to graze either Dexters or hogs... we'll have a 20 acre woods pasture this summer that can graze hogs with little added input as far as grain. There are oaks, hazelnuts, beechnuts, all sorts of wild roots and tubers, as well as plenty of grassy, open areas for grazing. The extra skim milk from the milk cow is valuable hog feed, if we get more dog cheese in the freezer than we need.

    For sure, farming is always a challenge! And the GSM is only mak8ng it more challenging. I wonder how many will be up to it...

    Summerthyme
    Do you have any pictures of studmuffin?
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  10. #4130
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    East Central Texas
    Posts
    2,737
    Grand Solar Minimum (GSM) has a new podcast out (there are a few from a day or so ago, I'll try to get them posted later):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GqjbBTK0tc

    Grand Solar Minimum GSM News Live Stream

    Run time is 1:13:27

    There is no synopsis given for this one.

  11. #4131
    Quote Originally Posted by von Koehler View Post
    Do you have any pictures of studmuffin?
    Nothing decent. I'll post a couple i took on pasture last summer, when we were heading out to visit some folks who were thinking about getting into Dexters. But I need to get some decent ones this summer... right now he's confined in the freestall barn with the steers, and the lighting/situation isn't conducive to decent pics. I'll have to get onto the desktop to post the ones I've got.

    Summerthyme

  12. #4132
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    East Central Texas
    Posts
    2,737
    An important article below - please note that there are graphs/charts that I cannot bring over. Strongly suggest you visit the link to see them on the website:


    https://electroverse.net/physically-...sequences-gsm/

    ‘Physically’ the Latest Start to Spring on Record for much of the US — Agricultural Consequences — Grand Solar Minimum

    May 16, 2019 Cap Allon


    Spring was more than 10 days later than usual for many US states this year, according to data from The USA National Phenology Network, which tracks the physical arrival of spring by looking at when leaves and other growth appears and blooms.

    2019 saw the latest arrival of spring in 38 years of records for parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Washington and Oregon, with many other regions of the US saw a later-than-usual start to spring.

    The absence of spring was due to a stubborn dip in the jet stream which subjected parts of the Northwest, Plains and Midwest to brutal Arctic air for much of March and April, busting a myriad of all-time cold-weather records in the process.

    Temps remained cold from January though April from Montana to Wisconsin and as far south as Iowa and Nebraska, and when May finally arrived it brought with it yet another blast of near-freezing temperatures to portions of the central Plains, with Duluth, Minnesota shattering an all-time May snowfall record when more than 10 inches fell on May 8 into May 9.

    Late-Spring Agricultural Consequences

    These frigid temperatures have generally been accompanied by very wet conditions, in fact the US just had its wettest 12 months in recorded history. This combination of cold and wet has exacerbated the agricultural impacts of a late spring.

    The melt after a very snowy winter season combined with the record precipitation this spring has resulted in fields being flooded so badly that they simply cannot be planted this year, according to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

    As of the end of April, corn planting was behind the 5-year average in all Midwest states.

    By May 12, only 30 percent of the nation’s corn acreage had been planted, 36 points behind the 5-year average.

    The corn planting in Illinois as of May 12 was the slowest ever in records dating back to 1979, according to Karen Braun, global agriculture columnist at Thomson Reuters.

    The soybean crop is also way behind schedule. As of May 12, planting stands at just 9 percent — 20 points behind the 5-year average, according to the USDA.

    And the persistent cold and late-season snow in the Dakotas has not allowed the soil to warm up and has prevented crop planting there too, the NCDC reported in its April summary.

    The list of cold-weather impacts goes on and on.

    And you can click here for a more detailed report from weather.com

    More of the Same

    Any hopes of getting corn and soybean planting back on track will likely be washed away starting Friday as a pair of storms threaten torrential rains across the Great Plains and Midwest through next week.

    As much 5 inches will soak soils from South Dakota and Minnesota south to Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

    “The severe weather starts on Friday and continues for several days after that,” said Marc Chenard, a senior branch forecaster at the Weather Prediction Center.

    “Another one arrives early next week — Sunday into Monday. It is kind of like a one-two punch with multiple days of severe weather and heavy rainfall.”


    There’s no doubt these planting issues are fast-becoming a serious development.

    And one forewarned by those studying the impacts of past Grand Solar Minimums.

    Expect food prices to skyrocket, as the cold times return.

    Prepare.

    Grow your own.

  13. #4133
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    East Central Texas
    Posts
    2,737
    We're finally getting tubs and raised beds set up, and we're expanding the amount of space devoted to fruit and vegetable gardening. DH is cutting pastures (where it's dry enough to cut) to knock back weeds some. We're basically going from sunrise to sunset (with mid-day breaks due to heat) to get as much done as possible before Saturday's severe storms and excessive rainfall predicted as mentioned in the article above. Another system comes in Tuesday, forecasters say. I really worry about hay harvesting again because of all the rainfall and pastures that simply will not dry enough for heavy equipment.

    We have an explosion of skunks, raccoons, rabbits, voles, mice, and snakes this spring. It would be nice if the snakes would take the mice and voles, they're focusing on our eggs instead. I'm guessing all the rainfall is flooding out their normal hiding spaces. Calving continues, we think just one more to go. We did a light breeding last year, so far one deceased heifer calf we had to pull, two bull calves and one heifer. Hoping the last one is a heifer, we'll have to band the boys in the near future.

    I'll try to keep up with the GSM news posting in between all of the above :-)

    Martinhouse, I think all the forecasted rainfall is heading your way!

  14. #4134
    TxGal, our rain is forecast to hit Saturday PM/Sunday AM, more or less. Then again later into next week.

    I made a huge decision a couple of days ago and the result happened this morning and I am terribly relieved and also terribly distressed by it. I will probably cry on and off for days as I gave away all my chicks and my two rabbits. They were all absolutely gorgeous and I loved them, but I just can't take care of them any more. I should not have gotten those chicks.

    Anyway, I gave them and all that goes with them to a wonderful family who live north of me on a whole "mountain" top and have huge peach orchards. They are the main peach people in my area. The older couple had four or five kids and she told me she now has 18 grandchildren. Until recently she home-schooled all of her grandchildren until they were ready for high school. Boys and girls both have been taught to cook and sew and grow gardens and raise and care for animals. I have also given them the containers I had cut from barrels this spring and dirt to go into them, and plants I can't make a place to plant. They will come back for the soil and containers after school is out and they have some bigger boys to help them. She will be getting a good start on Bocking 14 comfrey from me then, too.

    Since I wouldn't take any money from them, they are going to help me redo the bad soil in the containers I set up a year ago plus they are going to clean up the chick cage in my greenhouse for me. They will take the 150# of whole corn and the 150# of laying pellets I bought last fall and never used after the raccoons did their dirty work on my little flock of chickens. They also have pigs and she is going to ask her guys to take all my old no-good stored feed and see if the pigs will accept it. I have a lot of the disposable blue water cooler jugs full of dry cat food and dog food and I will ask her if she wants that for her pigs, too, although chickens love dry cat food so she may use it for her big chickens .

    I've always known that one should never give up. Determination is an admirable quality to have. But now I've had to admit that facing facts is another admirable quality and one that up to now I've been very lacking in. This week, I had to face facts.

    Don't know that I'll have as much to share here on this thread any more, but I'll do my best. And be assured that I'll be checking and reading and appreciating all the posts as much as I always have.

  15. #4135
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    East Central Texas
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    Ahhh, Martinhouse, I'm so sorry! I know that was a very hard decision for you, but one we will ALL face. Since we're right around 65 it will be sooner rather than later. We have decided no more ducks, and not to get another dog when our senior dog passes away, and we rehomed our 3 roosters - rooing 24/7, beating the heck out of the hens (they were bald), and attacking us when we went in the chicken areas...new homes were well warned! I know someday we'll have to stop keeping chickens, and ultimately cattle although they're more independent. When that time comes we'll lease out our acreage for grazing instead. We'll try to garden then as best we can, but even that will be less.

    Our nearest neighbors just did the same thing a few months ago, for the same reason. Horses, cattle, guinea hens, chickens, and goats. It was hard for them, also, but totally understandable.

    You didn't give up at all, just changed your plans. Flexibility is key. You did a wonderful thing by finding them such a great home! I think you probably made wonderful friends with that family, and what a great gift for all the entire extended family! You're awesome :-)

    You will have much to share, still! You have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and this thread wouldn't be the same without you.

  16. #4136
    TxGal, thank you for saying such nice things. It really does make me feel better about what I did. Right now I feel so relieved that I don't have to go out to take care of the chicks wearing a dusk mask that blocks what little oxygen I can get nowadays. (Crying and getting all snotty doesn't help the breathing much either, but I'll get over that pretty soon, I'm sure. I've never been much of a crier except maybe when I've gotten horribly angry.)

    I will still have my existing container garden as well as the greenhouse, so my life won't be sterile, but I'll just have to get used to not getting an answer by way of my eyes and ears when I talk to my growing things. Oh, damn, that's gonna make me cry again. What a wimp I am!

    Well, I need fix a meal. If I wait any longer I won't have to decide between breakfast or lunch because it will be suppertime!

    Thanks for "listening" to my woes.

    I also need to drastically revise my shopping list...get rid of rabbit and chicken items and think about what I'm reading about Iran, etc.

  17. #4137
    This morning, Weather.com came out with it's forecast for summer temperatures in the US: https://weather.com/forecast/nationa...ay-2019-update.

    Looks like Fly-over county is going to be a bit cool.
    that which one man receives without working for, another man must work for without receiving." -- Kenneth W. Sollitt

  18. #4138
    Quote Originally Posted by Gingergirl View Post
    This morning, Weather.com came out with it's forecast for summer temperatures in the US: https://weather.com/forecast/nationa...ay-2019-update.

    Looks like Fly-over county is going to be a bit cool.
    That won't help the corn crop...

    Summerthyme

  19. #4139
    Huggs, Martinhouse. I can imagine that hurt.
    You can only do what you can do.
    I agree with TxGal; key word is flexibility.
    Sounds like you made the right decision.

  20. #4140
    Thank you, Faroe. Right now I'm feeling like I made a terrible mistake and at the same time I know it was the right thing to do. I'm sure I'll get over it. Just like I stopped worrying that I never bought and broke in hiking boots for a get-home bag in my truck. When I use a cane and can't carry more than five pounds without getting out of breath, it's really stupid to regret the lack of hiking boots.

    Right now I'm letting myself escape into memories of all the neat things I did back when I was healthy and was so deeply into my huge garden and raising chickens and playing with chicks who would climb onto my shoulder at dusk and burrow into my long hair twittering their little night-night sounds. I won't worry about my daydreaming as long as I know it's voluntary. I have lots of cool memories to console myself with. I probably need to find them all again and enjoy every bit of it all over again while I still can.

    I've made lots of places in my yard to sit and rest, so I can still make use of my yard for at least one more summer when I won't be so cold all the time. I love summer and so what if I spend a lot of it outdoors on a shady seat daydreaming?

  21. #4141
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    East Central Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    TxGal, thank you for saying such nice things. It really does make me feel better about what I did. Right now I feel so relieved that I don't have to go out to take care of the chicks wearing a dusk mask that blocks what little oxygen I can get nowadays. (Crying and getting all snotty doesn't help the breathing much either, but I'll get over that pretty soon, I'm sure. I've never been much of a crier except maybe when I've gotten horribly angry.)

    I will still have my existing container garden as well as the greenhouse, so my life won't be sterile, but I'll just have to get used to not getting an answer by way of my eyes and ears when I talk to my growing things. Oh, damn, that's gonna make me cry again. What a wimp I am!

    Well, I need fix a meal. If I wait any longer I won't have to decide between breakfast or lunch because it will be suppertime!

    Thanks for "listening" to my woes.

    I also need to drastically revise my shopping list...get rid of rabbit and chicken items and think about what I'm reading about Iran, etc.
    Martinhouse, you're very welcome! I'm also a crier when I get angry, maybe its a woman thing. But, I'll be the first to admit that I still tear up when I think of the bull we had to sell (I mentioned him above) even though I know he went to a good home, or cows that we had to sell that I got attached to. I know it's hard, but knowing you found them an excellent home will help in the coming days. Honestly, I don't think you could have handled it better. And, you do get some physical relief in not having the chores to do - and all of us with animals do know that it takes a lot out of everyone, even those in the best of health. Those of us in our 'declining' years are even more challenged.

    I just read your response to Faroe, too. Sitting outside in your beautiful area and just appreciating your place is a very good thing. Maybe sit back and enjoy your song birds, perhaps put out a small bird bath of some kind and once in a while toss them bread crumbs or something. You can still talk to the birds and appreciate them, and often they do respond. We have wild rabbits that have become very comfortable around us, and they are a joy to watch. There's so much good out in the country, and the peace and quiet can't be beat. I know you'll find your peace soon and have more time to enjoy the beauty of your little bit of heaven on earth.

  22. #4142
    Carol... I agree with faroe and TxGal... you do what you must, and we've all had to learn to deal within our limitations. I suspect most of us have let our dreams get us involved in projects which our bodies have then forced us to reconsider. However, maybe God has provided you with some new friends who may be able to be some of the physical help you've so desperately needed!

    I daily thank the Lord for forcing us to sell our dairy herd when He did... WE had our own plans which involved milking cows until hubby turned 65, which would have had us milk for our last 5 years in the worst milk price period in history, and then sell into the lowest beef and dairy prices in decades. Instead, HIS timing had us sell at the top of the cattle market, when milk prices were at the highest in history. It was SO hard selling our beautiful cows... after 40 years, we *finally* had the herd we'd dreamed of. Our milking animals averaged a type classification score of 88.7 points (out of a possible 100, although no cow has ever scored over 95). Cows that score 90 or above are rated "Excellent" and less than 11% of the breed achieves that. We had 36 Excellent cows out of 43 (and it's not allowed to score 2 year olds higher than 89... every cow scoring 89 or below were 2 year olds)

    When we looked back at how it all began... we bought cull cows that we saw potential in.., I often had to use my healing gifts to cure mastitis or otherwise fix the problems that had the previous owners sell them cheaply. We never had the money to buy the top animals. And for many years, while hubby got more milk than should have been possible out of those culls and rejects, I was carefully selecting sires that I thought would eventually produce animals like we envisioned.

    It took 30 years for us to get our first cow to score Excellent. Oh, we were excited!

    And somehow, along the way, we went from having an animal we considered the best in the herd politely declined for the National Sale, to having the head of the National Sale selection committee beg us to consign something... and when we asked which animal he wanted, we were gratified to hear, "I'd take anything in this barn... they're all national ssle caliber!"

    So, we sold at our peak, and it was so hard... but people paid good prices for them, and they went to 18 states. I was comforted by knowing that someone who pays that kind of money for an animal is going to take very good care of her!

    When it came time to sell the heifers (we'd held them back due to tax considerations) I was very thrilled to get a call from the owner of the top herd of Ayrshires in the world (they consistently win at the huge international shows, and also top production records almost every year) and offer to buy the entire group. That's one phone call I won't forget! Ultimately, she didn't want to pay what we thought they were worth... and we sure questioned our sanity about turning her offer down,... until we sold thrm at auction and topped her offer by almost double!

    I don't think we're going to have the time to do it with the Dexters, but we started with two top quality foundation animals, and BB King has stamped all his get with a uniform quality which is going to give us a base if we can find a way to keep them. We should be able to handle it physically for a few more years, but I've always said that the day I won't or can't stay up for a good cow calving at midnight us the day I'll arrange a dispersal. We're nowhere near that yet.

    I've seen so many herds over the years go downhill in their last few years, as the aging owners refused to let go, but they couldn't handle the work, or even supervise hired help well enough. I've walked into barns which were filthy, where calves had broken legs from being stepped on and no one noticed, and it's heartbreaking. (OTOH, these were where we got some of our best foundation animals... the genetics didn't disappear due to neglect; you just had to be able to look under the skin and bones condition, or caked on manure.)

    One of the best cows we ever bought was purchased at 3 am on the way back from a dispersal sake. The elderly breeder *had* sold the herd in good condition, but hadn't chosen the buyers wisely. The young couple apparently had no idea what they were getting into, and they had to drag 5 dead cows out of the barn before they could sell the rest. Bow was a 5 yesr old, and out of a cow family that AI studs had begged to get bull calves from. She was 5 months fresh, not bred back, was absolute skin and bones, and had mastitis in 3 quarters.

    She sold for beef price, to my friend who had let me ride along to the sale with him. The breeder had mourned to me after the sale that "the best cow I ever bred just went for beef".. so I offered the friend a $100 profit (25%!) and he took it.

    I think hubby thought I'd lost my mind when he saw what I'd brought home! She was barely giving 20# of milk a day and was literally starved. 2 months later, we'd gotten the mastitis cured, she was safely pregnant, and had gone up to 60# of milk... and she held that level of production until we dried her off. She had a bull calf (she ended up having 7 bulls for us.., we never did get a heifer!) and promptly started producing 110# of milk a day. We'd never seen a cow make 100# a day.

    The next year, she set the National record for production in her age group, and we sold her bull calf to an AI stud.

    Her breeder cried when I called him with that news. Yes, we do get attached to some of the special ones. You know, I can still remember many of the animals by name, and their pedigree back to the original animal we owned? Not all of them... But the special ones.

    So yes, time moves on for all of us, and in the end we have the memories of the good (and bad) times. The early mornings when the cows would walk out to the pasture with the sun turning the mist to gold. The hot evening milkings in August when each cow felt like a furnace, and you'd finish the milking covered in unmentionable substances because despite fly spray, they were constantly swatting at flies with sloppy tails.

    The times when the entire family would go calf hunting in the 20 acre woods pasture, because we misjudged a due date and the cow dropped the calf and then hid it before casually walking to the barn with the rest of the herd as if nothing had happened. Sometimes we'd have to chase them down... those newborn stinkers would lie motionless, heads and ears down until we'd get within 5 feet of them, then- knowing they'd been spotted- they'd leap up and take off running thtough the woods, jumping logs and creeks like a deer. I once chased one a half mile, getting her within a hundred feet of the barn when she dodged me and headed back towards the woods. If hubby hadn't heard me hollering and jumped on the 4-wheeler, I'm not sure if we'd ever have caught her!

    The kids still joke about how "family togetherness time" involved me announcing, "we've got feet!" and everyone would be expected to drop what they were doing and head to the barn to help pull a calf. They started helping as soon as they were able to walk.. I remember our daughter once toddling up to the vet with a calving chain in one hand and dragging the calving rope behind her... he was doing pregnancy checks, but she assumed anyone with their hand up the rear end of a cow was trying to produce a calf! She was about 30 months old...

    Sorry for the long, off topic ramble guys... Carol, you did good. Keep trusting God's plan for your life, and remember the good times. Maybe get a couple hummingbird feeders? Those tiny birds have amazing personalities, and they can learn to recognize and trust people. I need to get a couple up, although it's hard to lure them away from our Amush neighbors, who have multiple feeders and use a rich sugar solution to lure them!

    Summerthyme

  23. #4143
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post

    Right now I'm letting myself escape into memories of all the neat things I did back when I was healthy and was so deeply into my huge garden and raising chickens and playing with chicks who would climb onto my shoulder at dusk and burrow into my long hair twittering their little night-night sounds. I won't worry about my daydreaming as long as I know it's voluntary. I have lots of cool memories to console myself with. I probably need to find them all again and enjoy every bit of it all over again while I still can.

    I've made lots of places in my yard to sit and rest, so I can still make use of my yard for at least one more summer when I won't be so cold all the time. I love summer and so what if I spend a lot of it outdoors on a shady seat daydreaming?
    Martinhouse, I enjoy all of your insight and the constancy of your posts. I especially enjoy hearing about your Kale. It is admirable that you are willing to know your limits, really it is. That doesn’t make it feel any better and for that I am sorry. I pray that you do get to enjoy the summer and all the little spaces you have created for that. God bless you.

  24. #4144
    Summerthyme, that wasn't an off-topic ramble. It was the kind of story that explains to many how rewarding living with animals can be in spite of all the hard work and disappointments. Thank you for sharing.

    The chick in the garden I referred to be fore was a long time ago. Back then I'd let the chickens out in the yard all day and close them up at night. So I moved any setting hen to a pet carrier and put her eggs in it on straw, With the carrier under a bush, she was safe at night because I'd go out and close the carrier at dusk or earlier for many weeks. Anyway, this one hen had hatched her family and on the second day that she had them out and around in the yard, one of wht I'd thought dud eggs hatched a very good sized Buff chick. Mama would not accept it, though, so I had to adopt it. At the time I was nursing a badly pecked guinea who had followed the wrong hen into her nest and she really messed him up. I greased him up good with fresh aloe for pain and neosporing for healing and kept him in a shoe box indoors and he finally healed. So I put the new chick who was already as big as that little guinea in a medium pet carrier with the guinea and kept them right in my big enclosed garden. I would go out every morning and give them food and water and sit on the ground by them so they had a mama to loom over them. At first I kept them in the shade in the carrier but soon I let them loose. Before dark I'd go out and sit on a block or an pail and they would crowd around, I could catch the guinea and hold him against me, even though guineas are too wild to really tame, and the little chick would fly up onto my lap and snuggle. then she'd go up my arm and roost on my shoulder as crowded under my hair and against my neck as she could get. They would hang around me when I worked in the garden and once when I was harvesting Romaine leaves to harvest, they would chase each other past me and make a big circle under a row of pole beans and back around to where I was. As they got near me they would both jumps way up in the air flapping their little wings and land right in the middle of my 3'x4' patch of lettuce. They were playing just like a couple little kids jumping into a raked up pile of leaves! It was one of my neatest animal experiences and I'll never forget it.

    Later I brought the other chicks from the original batch into the garden and they stayed there until they were just starting to dig too much and then I turned them out with the main flock and they adapted to using the chickenhouse with no problem at all.

    That little guinea never grew the bump on his head because of how badly he'd been pecked, and he thought he was a chicken but he did roost with the chickens until he was full-grown. Guineas roost later into dusk than chickens so I'd be patiently waiting for him to go into the henhouse and he didn't want to. I think we actually communicated. I would look at him and visualize him going into the henhouse and getting onto the roost. Then he'd stare at me a while, then he'd cock his head and look up at the pine tree and then look back at me. Then, for a few more nights he went into the henhouse but after that he stopped humoring me and roosted way up high in the tree. His name was buzzy because lacking his head crest, it was like he'd gotten a buzz cut.

    These are the simple kinds of memories that I can live through again in my mind when I'm feeling bad about giving away all my special little friends today.
    -----
    I don't like to feed hummingbirds that dyed sugar water. I've read that if they drink that, they won't bother to get enough of the nutrients that they need from real flower nectars. I have masses of Cypress Vine (Sp?) and they love it and also a lot of other things I purposely leave in huge tangles for them. I've also read that using orange juice in their feeders is a big no-no. So I just try to have some sort of plant blooming most of the time.

  25. #4145
    Thanks to all for the kind thoughts you've given me. I hope to have a whole summer of positive things to share. And while I always kid and say "oh, I'm not really complaining...I'm just griping, and griping is very therapeutic", I really will try to be more positive.

    Fireflies should be out within a week or so, if they aren't already, and I'm looking forward a brief stroll from one side of the house to another every evening so I can enjoy them. This will inspire me to finish weeding the sidewalks after our next rain.

    'night, all.

  26. #4146
    Join Date
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    Location
    Interior Alaska
    Posts
    427
    We made our first moving trip down to our new digs in Montana. Will make the final about mid June with the horses and rest of the family.

    While me and my daughter were there we got 15 zone 3-4 apple trees in the ground. They were already potted and had great root sustems. Most were about 10 feet tall. I was pleased to see that the soil is black and rich looking. Well drained.

    We will have to put up deer fence for sure. The morning and day we left out property we counted 17 different mule deer that were either on our property or the properties joining ours. There is no documented wasting disease anywhere near us so they could prove to be a valuable back up food source.

    We also planted some bluberry bushes hardy to zone 4. Someone in the area has honeybees. They, along with bumble bees were on the blooms next morning. That was a good sign.

    The property is south facing and has two springs. It was advertised with one but I found another. We plan to get the green house up and running this summer so as to have some winter greens to eat from it.
    Very excited to get going.

  27. #4147
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Posts
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    While driving through Alberta we noticed that the only wheat fields that had been plowed were with tractors on tracks.

    On our way back through we saw some field where the seed was being drilled in on top of last years stubble.

    Some fields were just getting sprayed in preparation to drill seed on top od last years stubble.

    Ran into a guy on a ATV riding past our property. He is a soy bean farmer fro Wisconsin. He was out vacationing. Said it was too wet to plant.

  28. #4148
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    East Central Texas
    Posts
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    Sorry I'm late, all! I try to do postings of podcasts/GSM news in the morning, but this morning we had a calf born and I went off to do some grocery/garden shopping right after (just the drive alone is a 2 hr round trip). I picked up 6 more tomato plants in case ours get walloped in storms that are forecasted for tomorrow.

    Adapt 2030 has a new podcast out today:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cbg5aqh5YKs

    ARK Storms Intensify Rainfall Shifts Across the Globe (827)

    Run time is 6:10

    Published on May 17, 2019

    ARK storm intensity is being given a new category of 5+ as the west coast of both North and South America is experiencing incredible changes in rainfall patterns. Great Lakes fill to record high in all five bodies of water, record feet of May snow in Corsica, Slovakia and Italy.



  29. #4149
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    Sep 2012
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    Martinhouse, I hope you are doing well and are adjusting to the changes at your place. I also hope you are catching up on some rest. Storms are coming in tomorrow, and I believe you may be in their path - be careful!

  30. #4150
    I suspect that hay will be either expensive or scarce this Fall; would it be possible to line up orders now for later delivery?

    How difficult is it to store? Deterioration over time? Or would it more sense to cull your herds?

    von Koehler
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  31. #4151
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    Quote Originally Posted by von Koehler View Post
    I suspect that hay will be either expensive or scarce this Fall; would it be possible to line up orders now for later delivery?

    How difficult is it to store? Deterioration over time? Or would it more sense to cull your herds?

    von Koehler
    Summerthyme is probably the best one to respond to your questions. Summerthyme?

    For us - we don't contract for our hay, we buy locally as needed (I don't know of anyone here who contracts their hay, just feed stores and maybe the auction barns). Squares are still running $13 each for coastal, I haven't seen any rounds for sale yet. No one in our general area has done a first cut that I am aware of, it's too wet. Normally they'll get three cuts a season here. Best storage is under cover with good air flow and protection from the sun and rain. I can't address deterioration, there are too many variables and I'd just be guessing! As to culling herds - we are not yet (we did downsize early in 2018) and don't anticipate doing so this year. We did limit breeding significantly and have no plans to breed next year (or maybe ever again, we're getting older and we're feeling it). The only cattle we have leaving our place this year are going into our freezer :-)
    Last edited by TxGal; 05-17-2019 at 06:28 PM.

  32. #4152
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    Sep 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktrapper View Post
    While driving through Alberta we noticed that the only wheat fields that had been plowed were with tractors on tracks.

    On our way back through we saw some field where the seed was being drilled in on top of last years stubble.

    Some fields were just getting sprayed in preparation to drill seed on top od last years stubble.

    Ran into a guy on a ATV riding past our property. He is a soy bean farmer fro Wisconsin. He was out vacationing. Said it was too wet to plant.
    ktrapper, thanks for posting what you're seeing and hearing, it is truly important and helps everyone understand the effects of the GSM, I believe.

    Your new place sounds great! It's a lot of work starting up a new place from scratch - we did it and know a bit what you're experiencing....with geographical differences, of course. The first thing we did was put in a LOT of fruit trees, and then a well...ponds were already here. We weren't living here then, just coming up on weekends to work. The bad drought hit and we lost quite a few fruit trees, weekend watering wasn't enough and the young trees literally baked in 100 degree heat with zero rainfall. So, we just planted again, and kept planting, and we're still doing it.

    One of the things I really enjoyed was just working the land, learning every tree and wild grape vine and where the wild dewberries grew. Such a great experience. :-)

  33. #4153
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    An article from a few days ago on Sott.net chronicling the continuing problems with crop planting in the US:

    https://www.sott.net/article/413229-...-average-is-66

    Total catastrophe for U.S. corn production: Only 30% of U.S. corn fields have been planted - 5 year average is 66%

    Michael Snyder
    The Economic Collapse
    Wed, 15 May 2019 12:06 UTC

    2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry. Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground. I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it. But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate. And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly.

    In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield. Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year. It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.

    According to the Department of Agriculture, over the past five years an average of 66 percent of all corn fields were already planted by now...

    U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.

    Soybean farmers have more time to recover, but they are facing a unique problem of their own which we will talk about later in the article.

    But first, let's take a look at the corn planting numbers from some of our most important corn producing states. I think that you will agree that these numbers are almost too crazy to believe...

    Iowa: 48 percent planted - 5 year average 76 percent

    Minnesota: 21 percent planted - 5 year average 65 percent

    North Dakota: 11 percent planted - 5 year average 43 percent

    South Dakota: 4 percent planted - 5 year average 54 percent

    Yes, you read those numbers correctly.

    Can you imagine what this is going to do to food prices?

    Many farmers are extremely eager to plant crops, but the wet conditions have made it impossible. The following comes from ABC 7 Chicago...
    McNeill grows corn and soybeans on more than 500 acres in Grayslake. But much of his farmland is underwater right now, and all of it is too wet to plant. Rain is a farmer's friend in the summer but in the spring too much rain keeps farmers from planting.

    The unusually wet spring has affected farmers throughout the Midwest, but Illinois has been especially hard hit. Experts say with the soil so wet, heavy and cold, it takes the air out and washes nutrients away, making it difficult if not impossible for seeds to take root.

    Right now, soil moisture levels in the state of Illinois "are in the 90th to 99th percentile statewide". In other words, the entire state is completely and utterly drenched.

    As a result, very few Illinois farmers have been able to get corn or soybeans in the ground at this point...


    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's crop progress reports, about 11% of Illinois corn has been planted and about 4% of soybeans. Last year at this time, 88% of corn and 56% of soybeans were in the ground.

    I would use the word "catastrophe" to describe what Illinois farmers are facing, but the truth is that what they are going through is far beyond that.

    Normally, if corn farmers have a problem getting corn in the ground then they just switch to soybeans instead. But thanks to the trade war, soybean exports have plummeted dramatically, and the price of soybeans is the lowest that it has been in a decade.

    As a result there is very little profit, if any, in growing soybeans this year...

    Farmers in many parts of the corn belt have suffered from a wet and cooler spring, which has prevented them from planting corn. Typically when it becomes too late to plant corn, farmers will instead plant soybeans, which can grow later into the fall before harvest is required. Yet now, planting soybeans with the overabundance already in bins and scant hope for sales to one of the biggest buyers in China, could raise the risk of a financial disaster.

    And if the wet conditions persist, many soybean farms are not going to be able to plant crops at all this year.

    Sadly, global weather patterns are continuing to go haywire, and much more rain is coming to the middle of the country starting on Friday...

    Any hopes of getting corn and soybean planting back on track in the U.S. may be washed away starting Friday as a pair of storms threaten to deliver a "one-two punch" of soaking rain and tornadoes across the Great Plains and Midwest through next week.

    As much as 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain will soak soils from South Dakota and Minnesota south to Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

    We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations. I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.

    Even though I have been regularly documenting the nightmarish agricultural conditions in the middle of the country, the numbers in this article are much worse than I thought they would be at this point in 2019.

    This is truly a major national crisis, and it is just getting started.

  34. #4154
    Thanks for posting this article. The numbers are worse than I thought.

  35. #4155
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Thanks for posting this article. The numbers are worse than I thought.
    You're welcome :-) Yes, those numbers surprised me, too.

  36. #4156
    Robert Felix has posted a great article titled Back to a Medieval Green World.

    www.iceagenow.info

    TxGal, you'll probably want to post it here, it does have some bearing on future crop raising.

  37. #4157
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Robert Felix has posted a great article titled Back to a Medieval Green World.

    www.iceagenow.info

    TxGal, you'll probably want to post it here, it does have some bearing on future crop raising.
    Darn, I checked a while ago - great catch!

  38. #4158
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    With thanks to Martinhouse!:

    https://www.iceagenow.info/back-to-t...ld/#more-28605

    Back to the Medieval Green World

    May 18, 2019 by Robert

    “Without reliable electricity and diesel-powered farm machinery and transport trucks, cities are un-sustainable. In Green-topia 90% of us people will need to go.”
    – Viv Forbes
    ___________________

    Back to the Medieval Green World

    Viv Forbes

    Greens dream of a zero-emissions world without coal, oil and natural gas. They need to think what they wish for.

    First there would be no mass production of steel without coke from coking coal to remove oxygen from iron ore. People could cut trees in forests for charcoal to produce pig iron and crude steels, but forests would soon be exhausted. Coal saved the forests from this fate.

    We could produce gold and silver without using mineral hydro-carbons and with ingenuity we could probably produce unrefined copper, lead and tin and alloys like brass and bronze. But making large quantities of nuclear fuels, cement, aluminium, refined metals, plastics, nylons, synthetics, petro-chemicals and poly pipes would be impossible.

    Making wind turbines and solar panels would also be impossible without fossil fuels. A wind turbine needs lots of steel plus concrete, carbon fibre and glass polymers as well as many other refined metals – copper, aluminium, rare earths, zinc and molybdenum. Solar panels and batteries need high-purity ingredients – silicon, lead, lithium, nickel, cadmium, zinc, silver, manganese and graphite – all hard to make in backyard charcoal-fired furnaces. Transporting, erecting and maintaining wind and solar farms plus their roads and transmission lines needs many pieces of diesel-powered machinery.

    Every machine on earth needs hydro-carbons for engine oil, gear oil, transmission oil, brake fluid, hydraulic oil and grease. We could of course use oils from, seals, beeswax and whales for lubrication – the discovery of petroleum saved the whales from this fate.

    Roads would be a challenge without oil-based bitumen. The Romans made pretty good roads out of cobble-stones (this would ease unemployment). But hard labour would not sit well with aging baby-boomers or electronic-era Millenniums.Cars, railways, motor launches, aeroplanes, I-Phones, TV and cat-scans would be out. Horses, oxen, sulkies, wooden rowing boats, sailing ships, herbal medicine and semaphore would have a huge revival. Some wood-burning steam tractors may still work and wood-gas generators may replace petrol in some old cars.

    This is the return to the “zero-emissions” world that Green extremists have planned for us.

    But modern life cannot not be supported by a pre-coal/oil economy. Without reliable electricity and diesel-powered farm machinery and transport trucks, cities are un-sustainable. In Green-topia 90% of us people will need to go.

    But Greens should not expect us to go quietly.

  39. #4159
    Quote Originally Posted by TxGal View Post
    An article from a few days ago on Sott.net chronicling the continuing problems with crop planting in the US:

    https://www.sott.net/article/413229-...-average-is-66

    Total catastrophe for U.S. corn production: Only 30% of U.S. corn fields have been planted - 5 year average is 66%

    Michael Snyder
    The Economic Collapse
    Wed, 15 May 2019 12:06 UTC

    2019 is turning out to be a nightmare that never ends for the agriculture industry. Thanks to endless rain and unprecedented flooding, fields all over the middle part of the country are absolutely soaked right now, and this has prevented many farmers from getting their crops in the ground. I knew that this was a problem, but when I heard that only 30 percent of U.S. corn fields had been planted as of Sunday, I had a really hard time believing it. But it turns out that number is 100 percent accurate. And at this point corn farmers are up against a wall because crop insurance final planting dates have either already passed or are coming up very quickly.

    In addition, for every day after May 15th that corn is not in the ground, farmers lose approximately 2 percent of their yield. Unfortunately, more rain is on the way, and it looks like thousands of corn farmers will not be able to plant corn at all this year. It is no exaggeration to say that what we are facing is a true national catastrophe.

    According to the Department of Agriculture, over the past five years an average of 66 percent of all corn fields were already planted by now...

    U.S. farmers seeded 30% of the U.S. 2019 corn crop by Sunday, the government said, lagging the five-year average of 66%. The soybean crop was 9% planted, behind the five-year average of 29%.

    Soybean farmers have more time to recover, but they are facing a unique problem of their own which we will talk about later in the article.

    But first, let's take a look at the corn planting numbers from some of our most important corn producing states. I think that you will agree that these numbers are almost too crazy to believe...

    Iowa: 48 percent planted - 5 year average 76 percent

    Minnesota: 21 percent planted - 5 year average 65 percent

    North Dakota: 11 percent planted - 5 year average 43 percent

    South Dakota: 4 percent planted - 5 year average 54 percent

    Yes, you read those numbers correctly.

    Can you imagine what this is going to do to food prices?

    Many farmers are extremely eager to plant crops, but the wet conditions have made it impossible. The following comes from ABC 7 Chicago...
    McNeill grows corn and soybeans on more than 500 acres in Grayslake. But much of his farmland is underwater right now, and all of it is too wet to plant. Rain is a farmer's friend in the summer but in the spring too much rain keeps farmers from planting.

    The unusually wet spring has affected farmers throughout the Midwest, but Illinois has been especially hard hit. Experts say with the soil so wet, heavy and cold, it takes the air out and washes nutrients away, making it difficult if not impossible for seeds to take root.

    Right now, soil moisture levels in the state of Illinois "are in the 90th to 99th percentile statewide". In other words, the entire state is completely and utterly drenched.

    As a result, very few Illinois farmers have been able to get corn or soybeans in the ground at this point...


    According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's crop progress reports, about 11% of Illinois corn has been planted and about 4% of soybeans. Last year at this time, 88% of corn and 56% of soybeans were in the ground.

    I would use the word "catastrophe" to describe what Illinois farmers are facing, but the truth is that what they are going through is far beyond that.

    Normally, if corn farmers have a problem getting corn in the ground then they just switch to soybeans instead. But thanks to the trade war, soybean exports have plummeted dramatically, and the price of soybeans is the lowest that it has been in a decade.

    As a result there is very little profit, if any, in growing soybeans this year...

    Farmers in many parts of the corn belt have suffered from a wet and cooler spring, which has prevented them from planting corn. Typically when it becomes too late to plant corn, farmers will instead plant soybeans, which can grow later into the fall before harvest is required. Yet now, planting soybeans with the overabundance already in bins and scant hope for sales to one of the biggest buyers in China, could raise the risk of a financial disaster.

    And if the wet conditions persist, many soybean farms are not going to be able to plant crops at all this year.

    Sadly, global weather patterns are continuing to go haywire, and much more rain is coming to the middle of the country starting on Friday...

    Any hopes of getting corn and soybean planting back on track in the U.S. may be washed away starting Friday as a pair of storms threaten to deliver a "one-two punch" of soaking rain and tornadoes across the Great Plains and Midwest through next week.

    As much as 3 to 5 inches (8 to 13 centimeters) of rain will soak soils from South Dakota and Minnesota south to Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, according to the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

    We have never had a year quite like this before, and U.S. food production is going to be substantially below expectations. I very much encourage everyone to get prepared for much higher food prices and a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the months ahead.

    Even though I have been regularly documenting the nightmarish agricultural conditions in the middle of the country, the numbers in this article are much worse than I thought they would be at this point in 2019.

    This is truly a major national crisis, and it is just getting started.
    Grayslake is in my county, and if you see the picture from the article, yes this is what farmers are up against here.

    I have never seen this total lack of fieldwork on this date before. Normally, soybeans would be the fallback crop option but the economics are not there. Wheat? Rye?

    von Koehler
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  40. #4160
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    Sep 2002
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    Glitter Gluch, LSR
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    1

    Gregg Hunter’s weekly wrap up covered some of this vis flooding and crops not planted

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ7zywU_fqg

    run time 29:42 minutes
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein

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