AWRM
06/18/2019 04:00 AM 2019 Could Be The Worst Year EVER For U.S. Corn Farmers [by ConSigCor]
“It’s A Disaster Like I’ve Never Seen Before”: 2019 Could Be The Worst Year EVER For U.S. Corn Farmers

June 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

The amount of corn produced in the United States this year is going to be way below expectations. The Department of Agriculture just slashed its harvest estimates quite dramatically in its June report, but some farmers in the Midwest believe that those reduced projections are still way too optimistic. As I have previously detailed, millions upon millions of acres will go unplanted this year, but that is only part of the story. Much of the corn that has actually been planted is coming up very slowly due to the exceedingly poor conditions, and corn farmers all over the Midwest are reporting that their plants look absolutely terrible. If we get picture perfect weather between now and harvest time, this will simply be a terrible year. But if severe heat and/or an early frost hits the Midwest, this could very easily be the worst year that we have ever seen for corn farmers in the United States.

The other day, Illinois farmer James McCune gathered a large number of his fellow corn farmers for a “Prevent Plant Party”, and the mainstream media showed up to cover it. The following is from CNBC’s coverage of the event…

James McCune, a farmer from Mineral, Illinois, was unable to plant 85% of his intended corn acres and wanted to commiserate with his fellow farmers by hosting the “Prevent Plant Party” at The Happy Spot. He invited them to swap stories while tucking in to fried chicken and a keg of beer in Deer Grove, a village of about 50 people located 120 miles west of Chicago.

“Everybody’s so down in the dumps,” McCune said.

In addition, McCune told Fox Business that this year is “a disaster like I’ve never seen before”, and he said that some of his neighbors got even less corn planted than he did…

“It’s a disaster like I’ve never seen before,” McCune told FOX Business. “My neighbors didn’t get 90 percent of their corn planted.”

After non-stop rain plagued the region this spring – when corn farmers typically get seed in the ground – most have decided time is now too short and are choosing not to plant.

As bad as things are in Illinois right now, the truth is that some neighboring states are in even worse shape.

According to the latest Department of Agriculture report, 73 percent of the cornfields in Illinois have been planted, but in Indiana that figure is sitting at just 67 percent and in Ohio only 50 percent of the fields have been planted.

50 percent.

That is an unmitigated disaster, because the time for planting corn has now passed.

Needless to say, the farmers that were not able to plant crops have been absolutely flooding their insurance companies with claims. Just check out this quote…

“We get pockets of claims every year,” said Luke Sandrock of the Cornerstone Agency insurance company. “We have 1-2 percent of our clients (who typically file). This year, it’s over 90 percent, and so we’ve just never dealt with it on this size of a scale before.”

But it is imperative to remember that even if farmers were able to get their fields planted, that does not mean that everything is going to be okay.

In fact, corn farmers all over the Midwest are deeply distressed by what is emerging from the ground. In his entire farming career, James McCune has never seen anything like this…

A smartphone could fit in the space between James McCune’s index finger and thumb as the Illinois farmer describes the height of crops stunted by incessant rain and unseasonably cool weather.

“Corn’s not supposed to be this tall” in mid-June, McCune, who can trace his family’s farm roots as far back as 1857, said. “It’s supposed to be this tall,” as he gestures just below his waist.

And farmer Rob Sharkey used the word “ugly” to describe the condition of the corn on his farm…

“We planted some stuff that was not pretty,” said corn farmer Rob Sharkey. “But I didn’t have a choice. We did not get conditions that were right for planting, so we went when we could. It’s ugly.”

We’ll see what happens, but right now we are facing an unprecedented nightmare in the heartland of America.

It is exceedingly difficult to grow corn in soil that is absolutely saturated with water. Some farmers are saying that it is literally going to take “years” to recover from this disaster, and many will never be able to go back to farming again because they have been financially ruined.

Of course there are many farmers that are doing their very best to soldier on, but it is tough. Illinois farmer Mike Thacker was able to get 60 percent of his fields planted, but at this point he is not happy with a single field…

Mike Thacker, a farmer in Walnut, Illinois, planted about 1,600 acres of corn, or 60% of what he planned. He is reluctant to plant more because yields typically decline the later a crop is planted.

Thacker said corn that has started emerging from the ground is shorter than normal. He was not happy with even one field.

“It makes you feel terrible,” Thacker said at the party.

But like I said earlier, if the weather is ideal between now and harvest time, 2019 will just be a terrible year.

However, a major heat wave this summer would be absolutely catastrophic, and if there is an early frost it “will turn this world upside down”…

Farmers think more cuts are likely as the late-planted crop could face damage from hot summer weather and an autumn frost.

“An early frost will turn this world upside down,” Rock Katschnig, a farmer from Prophetstown, Illinois, said at the party.

So much of the corn that has been planted is way, way behind schedule, and so many Midwest farmers will push things for as long as possible when we get to harvest time.

But an early snap of cold weather could ruin those plans.

In any event, in the short-term U.S. consumers are going to be facing significantly higher prices at the grocery store. Beyond that, we could potentially be facing the sorts of scenarios that most people don’t like to think about.

For the moment, more rain continues to hammer the middle of the country. In fact, there was more flash flooding in the Midwest on Saturday…

The combination of two different frontal boundaries caused severe weather and flash flooding in parts of the Plains and Midwest on Saturday. There were over 130 reports of severe weather, including 17 reported tornadoes and numerous reports of straight-line winds of 70 to 80 mph across parts of Texas and Oklahoma.

Sadly, even more “heavy rain” is on the way, and some areas could see over 4 inches of precipitation early in the week…

Heavy rain is expected through Tuesday from Texas to Pennsylvania, with locally over 4 inches of rain expected and flash flooding in spots — especially parts of hard-hit Oklahoma and Arkansas.

I have been repeatedly writing about this crisis for the last couple of months, and now the mainstream media is finally starting to grasp the true gravity of this disaster.

In all of U.S. history we have never witnessed anything like this ever before. We have seen endless rain and catastrophic flooding month after month so far in 2019, and the middle of the country is still getting pummeled at this moment.

Nobody knows exactly what the weather will look like during the critical summer months, but I have a feeling that the end result of this crisis will be far worse than any of the “experts” were anticipating.
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06/13/2019 07:14 PM Oil Tanker Attacks in Gulf of Oman Fuel Security, Oil Supply Fea [by ConSigCor]
U.S. blames Iran for tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman, oil prices rise

Lisa Barrington, Phil Stewart



DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two oil tankers were attacked on Thursday and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States, which blamed Tehran for the incident.

“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in a brief appearance without providing hard evidence to back up the U.S. stance.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said.

Washington accused Tehran of being behind a similar attack on May 12 on four tankers in the same area, a vital shipping route through which much of the world’s oil passes.

Tensions between Iran and the United States, along with its allies including Saudi Arabia, have risen since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a deal last year between Iran and global powers that aimed to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran has repeatedly warned it would block the Strait of Hormuz, near where the attacks happened, if it cannot sell its oil due to U.S. sanctions.

No one has claimed Thursday’s attacks and no one has specifically blamed them on any party.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the incidents as “suspicious” on Twitter and called for regional dialogue. Tehran has denied responsibility for the May 12 attacks.


The Saudi-led military coalition, which is battling the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen, described Thursday’s events as a “major escalation”.

Russia, one of Iran’s main allies, was quick to urge caution, saying no one should rush to conclusions about the incident or use it to put pressure on Tehran.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States: “Facts must be established and responsibilities clarified.”

He warned that the world cannot afford “a major confrontation in the Gulf region”.

Crude prices climbed as much as 4% after the attacks near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial shipping artery for Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, and other Gulf energy producers.


“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s (seaborne) crude oil passes through the straits. If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk,” said Paolo d’Amico, chairman of INTERTANKO tanker association.

The crew of the Norwegian-owned Front Altair abandoned ship in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran after a blast that a source said might have been from a magnetic mine. The ship was ablaze, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air.

The crew were picked up by a passing ship and handed to an Iranian rescue boat.

The crew of the second ship, a Japanese-owned tanker, were also picked up safely.
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06/11/2019 02:55 PM 700 Quakes Hit California [by ConSigCor]
700 Quakes Hit A Key California Seismic Zone, And Tar Is Literally Bubbling Up Through The Streets Of Los Angeles

Michael Snyder
June 11th, 2019
The Economic Collapse Blog

Scientists are quite “concerned” about the huge earthquake swarm that has been shaking southern California in recent weeks, and right at this moment bubbling tar is literally coming up through the streets in one section of Los Angeles. None of this means that a major seismic event is imminent, but it is certainly not a good sign either.

We have been tracking quite a bit of unusual shaking along the Ring of Fire in recent months, and scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before “the Big One” hits southern California. And if you follow my work on a regular basis, then you already know that I am extremely concerned about the potential for major seismic activity along the west coast. So when I came across a San Diego Union-Tribune article entitled “Southern California earthquake swarm takes an unexpected turn, and that’s reason to worry”, it definitely got my attention. According to that article, there have been “more than 700 earthquakes” in the Fontana seismic zone over the past few weeks…

There have been more than 700 earthquakes recorded in the Fontana area since May 25, ranging from magnitude 0.7 to magnitude 3.2, recorded Wednesday at 5:20 p.m., according to Caltech staff seismologist Jen Andrews.

That is certainly a lot of earthquakes, but is this sort of activity unusual?

Well, according to one scientist, this is the “most prolific swarm” to hit that area “in the past three decades”…

The likelihood of a larger seismic event, given so many quakes over such an extended period, is higher than normal, the scientist said.

“People ought to be concerned,” said Hauksson. “This is probably the most prolific swarm in that area of the Fontana seismic zone that we’ve seen in the past three decades.”

Once again, I want to stress that all of this activity does not mean that a major earthquake is about to happen.

But one day it is coming. In fact, scientists have told us that one day the entire San Andreas fault could “could unzip all at once”. And when that day finally arrives, there might not be any warning at all.

If you live in California, you should be prepared for earthquakes to occur at all times, and that means taking some reasonable precautions…

In any home in seismically risky areas of California, experts recommend removing heavy objects around beds, strapping bookcases and dressers to walls, anchoring flat-screen televisions to walls, installing toddler safety latches on kitchen cabinets, and ensuring frames are attached to walls with quake-friendly hooks.

Hopefully, there will not be a major quake any time soon, but over the past few days, another ominous sign has made the news.

According to one local news report, “bubbling tar” is actually coming up through the streets near the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles…

And on Saturday, more seepage. Enough to draw the interests of tourists and residents alike.

CBS2’s Jake Reiner said tourists and residents alike have been coming to the area marveling at the bubbling tar.

Once again, this might be nothing.

But one local resident admitted that he had “never seen this before”, and apparently the smell of methane is very potent…

“You see a little bit of tar oozing up between the pavement,” Kogan says, “all over the neighborhood. That’s not unusual but this seems to be flow tar. I’ve never seen this before.”

Not to mention the constant hissing sound coming from the ground — it’s methane.

“I can smell it. I thought a car broke its oil pan out here,” says Patrick Myer.

I don’t know about you, but if you can literally hear methane coming out of the ground and bubbling tar is starting to come up through the streets, perhaps that is a sign that it is time to consider moving somewhere else.

But of course, the truth is that our entire planet is becoming increasingly unstable. On Monday, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck near Cleveland. The following comes from CNN…

A preliminary magnitude-4.0 earthquake was reported Monday about 20 miles northeast of Cleveland, in or around Lake Erie, the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake, measuring 3.1 miles in depth, was reported just before 11 a.m. local time north-northwest of the city of Eastlake.

“Did you feel that rumble this morning Cleveland? Well if you missed it, we caught this morning’s earthquake on multiple #OHGO cameras. Check it out! #Clevelandreallyrocks,” the Ohio Department of Transportation tweeted, along with a collection of traffic videos showing the moment the quake hit.

And of course Cleveland is not very far from the New Madrid fault zone that I have been writing articles about again and again.

On the other side of the world, a huge volcano in Indonesia also erupted on Monday…

A huge column of ash was blasted almost five miles into the sky above the Indonesian island of Sumatra after an active volcano erupted.

Mount Sinabung blew for nine minutes on Sunday, causing panic among the island’s residents.

Indonesian officials warned that further volcanic activity was possible, although the volanco’s alert level remained unchanged.

Major seismic events are happening so frequently now that it is really hard to keep up with them all.

But it is very important not to become numb to what is happening. Something strange really is happening to our planet, and many believe that it is going to get a lot worse.

As for California, scientists keep telling us that “the Big One” is way overdue, and when it finally arrives it could be a history-altering event.

According to one team of scientists, an extremely large earthquake could potentially “plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly”. Such an event would be far worse than anything that any Hollywood earthquake movie ever envisioned, and let us pray that nothing like that happens any time soon.
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06/11/2019 02:48 PM Good for them [by ConSigCor]
New Zealand Gun Control FAILS As “Kiwis” Ignore The New Bans

Mac Slavo
June 10th, 2019

New Zealanders have decided to ignore the gun bans imposed on them by the government in the wake of the mass shooting at Christchurch. They have effectively nullified the law banning semi-automatic firearms and shotguns by completely ignoring it.

Politicians are left scratching their heads and wondering why New Zealanders won’t comply with their authoritarian edicts. The so-called “gun reform” was expected to rid the vast New Zealand countryside of most semi-automatic firearms, magazines over a specified limit, and shotguns. New Zealand’s political chatelaine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, had an almost unanimous parliamentary vote to institute the gun buy-back, though as Liberty Nation Legal Affairs Editor Scott Cosenza asserts, “Buy-back is really a misnomer because the government never owned those guns in the first place.”

Two months ago, Reuters breathlessly reported, “New Zealand police expect tens of thousands of firearms to be surrendered by a guns buy-back scheme.” Law enforcement authorities averred that “it could be more.” Pregnant with the expectation that gun owners would trade their firearms for cash, the political class is nonplussed by the results.

Only 530 guns have thus far been turned in to the authorities. -Liberty Nation

As for how many now illegal guns are still in the hands of the Kiwis, that’s unknown. Because those guns outlawed have never been registered with authorities, it’s impossible to get an accurate count and impossible to know where any of them are. The government has shot itself in the foot because the numbers that are available, show that New Zealand is quite heavily armed per capita. There are an estimated 1.2-1.5 million guns in a country of approximately 4.7 million people. To put it another way, the land of the Kiwi is about as big as Colorado with the population of Louisiana. New York City, for example, is home to about 8.6 million (2017 estimate), almost double the size of the New Zealand population.

Not only will those citizens who choose to suffer the indignity of being stripped of their guns lose their basic human right to self-defense, but they will also be taxed for the privilege. Cost estimates to the taxpayers by New Zealand lawmakers went as high as $500 million to $1 billion to pay for the confiscation scheme. But the truth is, authorities have no idea what it will ultimately cost. Should citizens keep up their non-compliance, then not very much, according to Liberty Nation. This would make for a Kiwi win which would allow them to keep their guns and money.

But the “authorities” have invented stiff punishments for such a rebellion: Those who refuse to surrender their prohibited firearms could be sentenced to a five-years in jail. But how do they find out who has those guns and go about kidnapping those who disobeyed their orders?

Perhaps simply ignoring the new regulations may be effective, and law enforcement will find it impractical to round up the firearms of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Whether it becomes an exercise in futility for the government, a quest for a bigger bang for their buck by the people, or merely a quiet sidestep of hastily approved laws, Second Amendment supporters in America would be wise to take note.

It could just be that these laid-back Kiwis are poised to teach us a lesson in how to resist the oppressive and ham-handed fist of a tyrannical government. –Liberty Nation

“When someone looks out at the world and sees all manner of suffering and injustice, stretching back for thousands of years and continuing today, he invariably blames such problems on someone else’s hatred, greed, or stupidity. Rarely will someone consider the possibility that his own belief system is the cause of the pain and suffering he sees around him. But in most cases, it is. The root cause of most of society’s ills–the main source of man’s inhumanity to man–is neither malice nor negligence, but a mere superstition–an unquestioned assumption which has been accepted on faith by nearly everyone, of all ages, races, religions, education and income levels.” –Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition book description
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06/09/2019 03:49 PM Why Can't We Just Quit Afghanistan? [by airforce]
"We should get out of Afghanistan immediately." That was a tweet from Donald Trump, back in 2013. What changed his mind?

Quote
Imagine being a U.S. citizen who believes that America should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan after nearly 18 years of increasingly pointless war. Shouldn't be too hard, since that describes 61 percent of Americans—and an eye-popping 69 percent of veterans—polled in October 2018 by YouGov.

But let's also stipulate that by some glitch in the time-space continuum you become president of the United States, and that in one of your first major post-election interviews you observe that "nothing is going well" in Afghanistan. Wouldn't you think those troops would be home more than two years after that?

This is where we find ourselves in the spring of 2019—with a president who accurately declares in his State of the Union address that "great nations do not fight endless wars," even while 14,000 of the troops under his command still suffer and inflict death more than 200 months (and 2,300 Americans killed) after U.S. forces first overthrew the Taliban government.

"We should leave Afghanistan immediately," Trump tweeted as far back as March 2013. "No more wasted lives." He was right then, and presumably still leans that way now. To invert the old Madeleine Albright quote, what's the point of these superb executive powers if you can't use them to withdraw troops?

"We have a president—the first president, really—to say that the war has long been over, there is no military solution, he's bringing the troops home," Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.) says. "The problem is that several of his advisers that he has appointed don't necessarily agree with him. So they either countermand his sentiments or talk him into delaying."

Former Trump chief of staff and Obama-administration chief of U.S. Southern Command John Kelly has basically admitted to the latter tactic, telling the Los Angeles Times in an interview last year that when he arrived at the White House in August 2017, Trump "was inclined to want to withdraw from Afghanistan." Instead, Kelly and others persuaded the draft-dodging president to add troops and wait for some mythical moment when conditions would allow for a drawdown.


That has been the default position of the American political class for three administrations now. Even though George W. Bush campaigned on a more "humble" foreign policy; even though Barack Obama won against both John McCain and Hillary Clinton while opposing the Iraq War; and even though Trump in his 2015 campaign announcement speech complained that "we spent $2 trillion in Iraq…we lost thousands of lives…and we have nothing," presidents once in office cannot bring themselves to face the truth about sunk costs.

"If there is no military solution, what is one more death going to do over there?" asks Paul, who in March with Sen. Tom Udall (D–N.M.) introduced the American Forces Going Home After Noble (AFGHAN) Service Act, which would pull out all U.S. troops within one year and euthanize the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force—the legal justification for the continued deployment of combat troops in the region. "It's a mess now, but it will be a mess when we come home, too. And we just need to acknowledge that our original mission was to go after those who plotted or attacked us on 9/11, and there's frankly none of them left."

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report made painfully clear upon arrival in April, Trump's more impulsive and erratic desires—to fire Mueller, for instance, or to have his staffers lie to Congress—are often thwarted by subordinates leery of their propriety and/or legality. In many of those cases, Americans (especially Trump himself, given the possible legal jeopardy) should be relieved that the president's wishes did not become commands.

But it's hard to envision an authority more constitutionally explicit than the executive's discretion over the military. The fact that Trump can announce a troop withdrawal from Syria in December and yet find himself, just four months later, agreeing to keep a presence of 1,000 there speaks to how difficult it is for a president to pull back America's military reach.

"When will we stop wasting our money on rebuilding Afghanistan?" citizen Donald Trump asked in 2011. It's still a good question. The military still doesn't have any good answers.

"If we're going to wait until there's nobody left with a suicide vest in the Middle East or around the world," Paul says, "we'll wait forever."


Onward and upward,
airforce
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