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View Diary: Here's what climate change looks like (203 comments)

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  •  About those blithe reassurances (10+ / 0-)

    Another example of why we're screwed: All these ignoramuses dismissing the agricultural implications of climate change by saying, "Oh, we'll just plant crops farther north." Spoken like true city people!

    With farmers making up such a tiny percentage of our population, it's easy to spread that delusion. But farming isn't like plunking a factory down and churning out widgets. You have to understand the local topography and climate to know when to plant, and what varieties will do best.

    And with the climate knocked for a loop, that's getting harder even on established farms. You may be the third generation on a particular plot of land, but the cues that set your father's and grandfather's schedules may now have gone up in smoke (literally).

    And if your fields are under a foot of water, or cracked and dry from drought, you're not putting anything in the ground.

    •  Price of farmland in the Midwest is at an all time (4+ / 0-)

      high.

      So, the people doing the farming don't seem to be too concerned.  Prices per acre were up 32% in 2011 year over year!

      •  Meanwhile, they can't give away farmland in... (4+ / 0-)

        Texas. What does that tell you? ;-)

        •  Tells me you're wrong. Prices are up. (0+ / 0-)

          Despite Drought, Texas Land Values Rose In 2011

          Despite the worst drought in recorded history, ag land values in Texas followed the national trend upward, with some classes of ag land posting double-digit gains in value in 2011, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

          However, ranchland values didn’t enjoy quite the jump seen in farmland. Bankers responding to the Dallas Fed’s quarterly ag survey said the value of ranches was mixed, ending the year with about a 2% gain. Irrigated crop land, just as in other regions of the U.S., showed a significant gain in value, up 14%, and dryland values rose about 6%.

          While the outlook is mixed, bankers generally expect the upward trend in land prices to continue into 2012; 16% of the bankers surveyed expect an increase, while 6% anticipate declines.

          Yes, Texas droughts have had their effect.  But beef prices are up because of the shortage and strong demand, so they are still making money.

          Your alarmism is not shared by everyone, it seems.  And I don't think anyone can tell what the next few years will bring.  

      •  What makes you think (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, elwior, Matt Z, DSC on the Plateau

        that the people bidding up prices on farmland are the people doing the farming? The view from a computer terminal in Riyadh can look very different from the view from a tractor cab in east Texas.

      •  It's demand, not supply (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, Matt Z

        Crop yields are rather variable here in the Midwest, but prices for commodity crops are very high due to high world population and the fact that Indians and Chinese now have enough money to eat some meat. So that makes farmland look attractive. Also, even with global weirding, it's still a rather stable asset for the big banks to hold in their portfolios.

        Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

        by fearlessfred14 on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 07:13:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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