The us soy harvest in 2002 was worth 13 billion, 2x that of wheat. . meeting rising soybean demand will require more land. Grainland gains and Losses World grain areas peaked in 1981 at 732 million hectares and have declined to 647 in 2002. . Declines have occurred due to abandonment of marginal soils, soil loss, paving and population expansion, conversion to fish ponds, etc. Spreading Land Hunger Family farms are shrinking in size due to divided inheritances, and many are too small to be profitable. The author concludes this chapter by"ng Walter Lowdermilk's "Eleventh Commandment" regarding sustainable development from a 1939 Bulletin of the us department of Agriculture: Thou shalt inherit the holy earth as a faithful steward, conserving its resources and productivity from generation to generation. Thou shalt safeguard thy fields from soil erosion, thy living waters from drying up, thy forests from desolation, and protect thy hills from overgrazing by thy herds, that thy descendents may have abundance forever.
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Land productivity falls with loss of soil. . Ethiopia is losing 1 billion tons/year of topsoil, India.7 billion. . Nepal, China also affected. . Role of overplowing and tilling of marginal soils or sloping lands. Advancing Deserts, desertification is caused by clearing of vegetation and forests which serves as natural windbreaks, overplowing, overgrazing, firewood gathering, loss through dust storms of soils, etc. . Examples cited in Africa, nigeria, kenya, iran, Afghanistan, China, inner Mongolia, etc. Crops and Cars Compete for proof Land Prime crop land is being paved over for autos, since both farms and roads prefer flat well-drained lands. One auto requires about.2 acres in land paved, often at the expense of crop land. . Future for China, india, and other countries where there is not enough land to provide for the projected number of automobiles as well as crop land needed to meet food requirements. The land-Hungry soybean plea soy oil and soy meal are major food and livestock feed products. Soybean oil dominates world vegetable oil economy. .
Farmers Losing to the cities. Due to the higher consumption of water summary and lower value of crops compared to industrial goods, as well as high urban demands, farmers are losing out to cities and industry. Scarcity Crossing National Borders, countries forced to import their grain are increasingly vulnerable. . Water shortages are increasingly putting countries in competition and will lead to wars. A food Bubble Economy, in many countries, food production is artificially maintained by unsustainable depletion of natural resources such as fossil water, and collapse of these bubble economies is inevitable. . Texas, kansas, and Nebraska get 70-90 of their irrigation water from the fossil Ogallala aquifer, a nonrenewable resource which is being depleted. . Other countries depleting their aquifers for food are cited. Soil Erosion: Wind and Water.
Other countries are especially affected, particularly yemen. Rivers, running, dry, rivers run dry from damming, diversion for irrigation, and loss of springs when aquifers have diminished that would otherwise recharge them. . Examples include the colorado in the. The Amy darya no longer recharges the Aral sea, whose volume of water has dropped. The yellow river in China has failed to reach the sea in parts of each year since 1985. . The nile river's discharge into the mediterranean has declined from 32 billion m3 to less than 2 billion m3 as a result of the Aswan Dam and other slip diversions. . The Indus, mekong, tigris, and Euphrates are also affected, inasmuch as virtually all their water is being used.
The average deep aquifer level in n china dropped.9 meters just in year 2000. Some deep wells near beijing now extend to 1000 meters below the surface in order to tap fresh water and supply crops. . Chinese grain harvest (except corn) is falling: (1) from 123 million tons of wheat in 1997 to 87 million in 2003, (2) from 140 million tons of rice in 1997 to 121 million in 2003; and (3) from 392 million tons of all grains. China is overpumping the basins of the hai, the huai, and the yellow river. India is overpumping the punjab, haryana, gujarat, and other regions, and water shortages could eventually cause a decline in grain yields. . In Gujarat, the water table has fallen from 15 meters deep to 400 meters. In Texas, oklahoma, and Kansas, leading grain states, the water table has fallen by more than 30 meters, and many wells have gone dry in the southern Great Plains.
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Canada in short 2002 stopped exporting grain. . Shortages like these have caused or will lead to millions of environmental refugees, particularly in China, nigeria, iran, yemen, quetta (in pakistan's Baluchistan province). . Hunger will be on the rise, may lead to social breakdown and anarchy (such as is evident in Somalia, afghanistan, and the dem. The author expands on the topics of overpumping aquifers and rivers running dry (such as the colorado, the yellow river in China, amu darya that fed the Aral sea, the nile, the Indus, and the ganges. Grain requires 1000x times it weight in water to be grown (whereas steel production requires only 14x its weight in water). . Water consumed indirectly for food production can reach 4,000 liters per day. .
Water is being diverted to cities and to industry as higher and less consuming uses, shorting agriculture as a result. Falling Water Tables, deep (fossil) aquifers are composed of fossil water and are nonreplenishable-pumping from them is akin to mining. . Examples include the Ogallala under the Great Plains and the deep aquifers under n china and saudi Arabia. . Replenishable aquifers are usually shallow and are replenished at the rate of recharge. The countries most severely affected by aquifer overpumping (in order of population) are China, india, the us, pakistan, mexico, iran, s korea, morocco, saudi Arabia, yemen, syria, tunisia, israel, and Jordan, comprising together.2 billion people. .
Overpumping of aquifers: The water tables are falling in scores of countries (including Northern China, the us, and India) due to widespread overpumping using powerful diesel and electric pumps. . Other countries affected include pakistan, Iran, and Mexico. . This will eventually lead to water scarcity and cutbacks in grain harvest. Ecological Meltdown in Northern China, china's problems include also overgrazing rangeland (especially problematic are sheep and goats overcutting forests, loss of protective vegetation and increasing dust bowls, and expanding deserts (especially the gobi as well as in Gansu and Inner Mongolia). . Millions of tons of topsoil can be lost to winds in a single day, depositing dust on distant countries including.
Korea, japan, and even the. . These adverse changes will force many millions of internal migrants and environmental refugees, as well as other hardships. Food as a national Security Issue. Iran and Egypt import 40 of their grain; Algeria, japan, s korea, and taiwan import 70; and Israel and Yemen import. . The us, canada, france, australia, argentina, and Thailand are net grain exporters and together account for 90 of grain exports. . Rising Chinese demand (its current grain shortfall is 40 million tons/year) will destabilize world grain markets eventually and lead to life-threatening rises in grain prices. .
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Water use has tripled, causing water tables to fall and wells to dry. . Fossil fuel consumption has gone up 4x, and CO2 emitted exceeds natural fixation capacity, leading to the rise in atmospheric CO2 from 3 to 369 in 2000. . food such as grain will be in increasingly short supply-in the years, the grain harvest fell short of consumption (for example, essay in 2002 the grain harvest of 1807 million tons fell 5 short). . Farmers are unlikely to be able to close this gap without causing further environmental degradation. Progress toward reducing world hunger has essentially halted-the number of undernourished people in 2000 is estimated by the un at 840 million. Problems Farmers Face, global warming is increasingly evident, causes reduced crop yields. . Photosynthesis for many crops including corn slows to zero at. . Each 1 degree celsius rise in temperature above the optimal crop temperature during the growing season reduces yields by . . China as an example.
we have a "bubble economy" that is using resources at an unsustainable rate and that will collapse without drastic intervention. . Major concerns are overgrazing rangeland, overpumping aquifers, draining rivers dry, overfishing the oceans, destroying habitat, increasing CO2 release leading to global warming, the first mass extinctions of that species since 65 million years ago, soil erosion and expanding deserts, etc. . As of about 1980, we are consuming not just the interest earned by nature but also the principal of our natural endowment, and this will lead to environmental bankruptcy. . we are currently (as of 1999) exceeding nature's capacity by about 20, perhaps 24 by 2003. . Discussion of other bubble economies such as Japan, the nasdaq. World population grew from.5 billion in 1950.1 billion in 2000, exceeding that of the past 40 million years. . Our global economic output rose from 7 trillion in 1950 to 46 trillion in 2000. . Population growth and increasing prosperity promotes increased consumption of grain, tripling demand from 1950 to 2000. . Producing this grain has accelerated topsoil erosion. .
summary of the major topics presented in this book. . Commentary or editorialization by mcm is enclosed in square brackets. The dedication is to Orville. Freeman, former Secretary of Agriculture. . The Preface discusses his 2001 book, eco-Economy: building and Economy for the earth, but the current book argues for more urgent action at wartime speed. . he acknowledges that to keep the book short, he has largely omitted discussion of the loss of biological diversity and has given only passing mention to problems of water pollution or environmental education. World population has doubled and the world economy has expanded by 7x in the past 50 years. .
The benefits outlook is consistently international and global in scope, and not confined to any one country. . The subject matter presented has been carefully selected and honed to maximize political persuasiveness and to minimize controversy. . Compared to Al Gore's passionate, spiritual, and at times deeply personal. Earth in the balance ( 1993 it is quite similar in its subject matter, but more polished and selective in its focus. . For example, it sidesteps the failure of clergy and certain organized religions to substantively address the problems of overpopulation, and it studiously avoids direct criticism of the profound neglect of environmental issues by President Bush. . everyone should read this book and try to act to bring about the needed changes the author presents so clearly. . However, individuals can only accomplish so much-informed and forward-looking responsible national leadership is the missing ingredient to date. .
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Brown (Lester.) Plan b summary. Brown: Plan B: Rescuing a planet under Stress and a civilization in Trouble, summary by michael McGoodwin, prepared 2005. Acknowledgement : This work has been summarized using the. quot;tions are for the most part taken from that work, as are paraphrases of its commentary. Impression : This is a short, concise, but your important book. . The author has written many similar works since the 1970s, and is currently head of the. Earth Policy Institute which he founded. . Although the book is sometimes repetitive and seems a little patched together from previous articles and books, it nevertheless skillfully summarizes many of the ecological and environmental issues that threaten our Earth and our future. .