Posts Tagged ‘droughts’

UK Farmers: Food Shortages May Be on the Way If It Doesn’t Rain Soon

05/11/2011 Leave a comment

“Shoppers could face food shortages this summer if it fails to rain in the next fortnight, experts have warned.

Farmers are hoping for rain – and lots of it – to save crops that were planted early to take advantage of the higher than usual temperatures before Easter.

Those crops which rely on shallow and light soil could suffer the most, such as asparagus, shallots, peas and leafy salad plants, according to the respected trade magazine The Grocer.

Potatoes, spring barley and other cereals are also in desperate need of rain.”  Read more.

New Drought Fears as One of the UK’s Reservoirs is Already Dry as a Bone

04/29/2011 Leave a comment

“A picturesque reservoir has been reduced to dried, cracked mud and a splash of water after the prolonged dry spell.

The Cod Beck reservoir near Osmotherley, North Yorkshire, can now be walked across, and water suppliers are urging people to use water sparingly.

Strengthening work by Yorkshire Water required some water to be drained from the man-made lake, but a lack of rain and hot weather saw water levels dwindle.

As forecasters say the dry spell is set to continue, there are fears that the region is headed for a hosepipe ban.”  Read more.

‘Massive Crop Losses’ Feared from South Drought

04/28/2011 Leave a comment

By Carey Gillam – “KANSAS CITY (Reuters) – A devastating drought intensified across Texas over the last week, with high winds and heat causing ‘massive crop losses,’ and weather experts said Thursday that little relief was in sight.

The latest report from a consortium of national climate experts, dubbed the Drought Monitor, said drought worsened along the Texas border with Oklahoma, and in western, central and southern Texas.

Ranchers were struggling to feed and water cattle, and farmers were left to watch their crops shrivel into the dusty soil. Some experts estimated that producers were giving up on up to 70 percent of the state’s wheat acreage.

‘There are some scary things going on in Texas,’ said Brian Fuchs, climatologist with the National Drought Mitigation Center, which released its weekly drought analysis Thursday morning.”  Read more.

Britain on Drought Alert as UK as Dry as the Sahara Desert

04/26/2011 1 comment

By Ruth Doherty – “Britain is on drought alert after experts say some parts of the UK have been as dry as the Sahara Desert at this time of year.

Hosepipe bans are ‘inevitable’, they say, as water shortages are a ‘real and stark danger’ this summer.

The past two months have seen the opposite of the typical spring showers, with virtually no rain at all, making it the driest spring for nearly a century.

And, with no immediate sign of heavy rainfall on the way, experts say the next few weeks will be critical for water companies, farmers and wildlife.

Reservoir levels in parts of the country are already well below average, and some suppliers are resorting to pumping river water to keep them topped up.”  Read more.

Experts: Drought Could Continue in Southern U.S. for Several Months, Intensify

04/26/2011 Leave a comment

By ANGELA K. BROWN – “FORT WORTH, Texas — The extreme drought that has gripped parts of nine states — most of them in the South — is expected to drag on for several months or intensify, posing a risk for more wildfires, agriculture problems and water restrictions, national weather experts said Monday.

Portions of Texas and a small part of eastern Louisiana are the only parts of the nation that rank in the National Weather Service’s worst drought condition category, said Victor Murphy, the climate service program manager for the southern region, based in Fort Worth. The ‘exceptional’ drought level happens once every 50 to 100 years, he said.

Much of the rest of Texas and Louisiana are in extreme drought conditions — the worst in 20 to 50 years — as are parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Florida and tiny portions of Colorado and Kansas. Other areas of those states are experiencing severe and moderate drought conditions, along with parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.”  Read more.

World Bank: Food Prices Have Entered the ‘Danger Zone’

04/15/2011 Leave a comment

By Philip Aldrick – “Robert Zoellick, World Bank president, said food prices are at ‘a tipping point’, having risen 36pc in the last year to levels close to their 2008 peak. The rising cost of food has been much more dramatic in low-income countries, pushing 44m people into poverty since June last year.

Another 10pc rise in food prices would push 10m into extreme poverty, defined as an effective income of less than $1.25 a day. Already, the world’s poor number 1.2bn.

Mr Zoellick said he saw no short term reversal in the damaging effect of food inflation, which is felt much more in the developing world as packaging and distribution accounts for a far larger proportion of the cost in the advanced economies.

Asked if he thought prices would remain high for a year, Mr Zoellick said: ‘The general trend lines are ones where we are in a danger zone… because prices have already gone up and stocks are relatively low.'”  Read more.

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