Worst Texas Drought in 44 Years
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-2 ... llies.html
The worst Texas drought in 44 years is damaging the state’s wheat crop and forcing ranchers to reduce cattle herds, as rising demand for U.S. food sends grain and meat prices higher.
Texas, the biggest U.S. cattle producer and second-largest winter-wheat grower, got just 4.7 inches (12 centimeters) of rain on average in the five months through February, the least for the period since 1967, State Climatologist John Nielsen- Gammon said. More than half the wheat fields and pastures were rated in poor or very poor condition on March 20.
Dry conditions extending to Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado may cut crop yields in the U.S., the world’s largest exporter, as too much moisture threatens fields in North Dakota and in Canada. Wheat futures in Chicago are up 50 percent in the past year, after drought in Russia and floods in Australia hurt output and sent global food prices surging. Wholesale beef reached a record this week, and the U.S. cattle herd in January was the smallest since 1958.
http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/03/24 ... s-293.html
Underlying the wave of unrest across North Africa and the Middle East is the fact that some of the cries for democracy are coming from mouths in need of food. Media outlets around the world were quick to make the link between food and the protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, pointing to one specific grain: wheat
Recent fluctuations in wheat supply, some of which appear to be climate-driven, registered most sharply in the Middle East. In just the past year, natural disasters in Russia, Argentina and Australia choked global supply, pushing some governments to halt exports (Climatewire, Jan. 13). Earlier this month, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a rare warning that droughts in China would seriously imperil wheat supplies, although recent rains may have lessened the damage.