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Archived News — October 2002


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Farmers Must Adapt To Climate
Western Producer | by Karen Morrison | October 31, 2002

Prairie farmers will need to take advantage of good years to ride out a series of bad ones predicted in a federal climate change report.

Weather Leaves Crops Stranded
Western Producer | by Adrian Ewins | October 31, 2002

For thousands of prairie farmers, Halloween won't provide much of a treat this year. Instead, thanks to the tricks played by Mother Nature, they'll be trying desperately to wrap up one of the longest and most difficult harvests in recent memory.

Weather Puts Brakes On Winter Wheat Project
Western Producer | by Sean Pratt | October 31, 2002

Ducks Unlimited picked a bad time to launch its winter wheat program. The conservation group is providing growers in selected areas of the Prairies with interest-free operating loans of $18 an acre for every new acre of winter wheat they seed over a three-year period.

Food Prices To Rise As Drought Bites
Sydney Morning Herald | by Matt Wade and Michael Bradley | October 30, 2002

The drought will have a more devastating effect than previously feared, driving up food prices and undermining Australia's world-beating economic performance. The nation's winter grain crop will be halved, the Government's official agricultural forecaster warned yesterday, with the NSW harvest set to plunge to a quarter of last year's total.

Manitoba Researcher Finds Crop Methods Play Role In Climate Change
CP Wire | October 28, 2002

BRANDON, Man. - Marcia Monreal, a soil microbiologist at a federal government research station, was cited as saying that the way farmers handle their crops can affect greenhouse gas emissions, based on measuring the emission and retention of greenhouse gases in pastures across southwestern Manitoba. The story says that federal scientists estimate 12 per cent of Canada's greenhouse gases come from agriculture.
Since 1997, Monreal has been studying different pasture and tillage systems for rotation crops such as canola, wheat, peas and barley. It's hoped her research will help develop different agricultural methods to prevent morecarbon dioxide in the atmosphere and have it absorbed by plants and soil instead.
One of her projects studied a wheat-pea rotation using low-disturbance seeding (not much tillage) and high-disturbance seeding. Monreal found less tilling allowed fertilizer to be used more efficiently so less is needed. She also found freshly tilled fields produce a lot of carbon dioxide, so farmers can prevent the production of that greenhouse gas by reducing tillage.
Monreal also suggests farmers could plant certain legume seeds that don't need nitrogen fertilizer, which also pollutes the atmosphere.

Drought Further Cuts Australia Crop Forecasts
Planet Ark | October 30, 2002

SYDNEY - Australia's protracted drought would slash the country's 2002/03 wheat crop by almost 60 percent and cut national economic growth, the government's official commodities forecasting unit said yesterday.

Australian Drought Tipped To Halve Grain Crop And Slash Growth
Agence France Presse (AFP) | by Jack Taylor | October 29, 2002

SYDNEY- Australia's worsening drought will more than halve this year's winter grain harvest, slashing another 0.7 percent off economic growth, according to a revised official forecast released Tuesday.

Biotechnology Could Lessen Effects Of Drought
Life Sciences Network | October 29, 2002

The impact of the prolonged drought in Australia could be mitigated by the judicious use of biotechnology, said Australian Director of the Life Sciences Network Dr Wendy Craik today. 'There is an urgent need for modern solutions to this problem, and biotechnology holds the prospect of significantly lessening the effects of the Australian drought,'; she said. 'While it might not hold all the answers, it is a hugely powerful tool in terms of protecting farmers against the effects of drought. 'Gene technology has the potential to produce plants that could withstand all but the harshest drought conditions,'; Dr Craik said.

Cattle Sent To Graze Under Malaysia Palms
Planet Ark | October 29, 2002

SYDNEY - Australia's largest live cattle exporter is trailblazing new ground by shipping cattle from the drought-stricken outback to graze beneath plantation palm oil trees in Malaysia.

Greenpeace Urges 'Weather' Considerations In GM Debate
Australian Broadcasting Corporation | October 28, 2002

Dust storms may be taken into account when assessing the risk of spreading genetically modified seeds, if Greenpeace has its way.

Hailed-Out Soybean Fields
Iowa Integrated Crop Management | by John E. Sawyer | October 21, 2002

An unfortunate hailstorm "harvested" a large number of soybean fields in a swath across northwestern Iowa on October 1. In these fields, the amount of soybean seed knocked from the plants varied from minimal to essentially the entire yield. Although nothing can be done to replace the lost grain, at least nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) nutrients returned to the soil in the soybean grain can be accounted for when planning nutrient applications for 2003 crops. An estimate of soybean bushels per acre lost is needed to approximate nutrient return to the soil.

Drought, Nutrient Availability And Soil Testing Considerations
Crop Observation and Recommendation Network | by Maurice Watson | October 21, 2002

The extremely dry 2002 growing season was a very harsh one for producing a profitable crop. Now that the 2002 growing season is over, the question is, "what kind of year will we have next year?" Because of this year's drought, it is possible not as much fertilizer will be needed by next year's crop on the field that was sufficiently fertilized this year. In addition, it is possible that not enough fertilizer was applied this year because of the very wet spring. Unfortunately, long term weather forecasting is not sufficiently precise to allow accurate planning for next year's fertilizer needs. The amount of nutrients removed by a crop is different under wet soil conditions as opposed to drought conditions. It is best to maintain optimum levels of phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) to guard against weather extremes during the growing season. By applying fertilizer that is not needed or not applying enough fertilizer a grower can greatly affect profits.

Farmers To Get Aid In Wake Of Drought; Two Indiana Counties Eligible
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Paul Bird | October 27, 2002

Farmers in Johnson and Shelby counties will be eligible for federal assistance because the summer drought drove crop yields below normal.

Sciences Meets Tradition In University Crop Study
Guelph Mercury (p.D7) | by Lisa Caines | October 26, 2002

Planning for crop production on a year-to-year basis is tricky enough with ever-present variables such as climate and disease. But in the drylands of Central West Asia/North Africa where inhabitants depend on that area's low and highly uncertain rainfall -- crops destined to be lucrative in each year's growing season can turn on a dime.
Drylands are the habitat and source of livelihood for one-fifth of the world's population. Sixty per cent of those people live in Central West Asia/North Africa, where the population is expected to double by 2025.

Eighth Century Megadrought Impacted Much Of North America
University of Arkansas | October 26, 2002

Arkansas - A drought that lasted three times as long as the Dust Bowl of the 1930s wreaked ecological havoc over much of the western United States and Mexico, and occurred at about the same time as the fall of Teotihuacan and classic Mayan civilization 13 centuries ago, say University of Arkansas researchers.

Alliance MP Declares Kyoto A Farm Disaster
Western Producer | by Barry Wilson | October 24, 2002

A Canadian decision to ratify the Kyoto protocol on curtailing greenhouse gases will be a disaster for farmers because of higher costs, increased regulation and reduced competitiveness, says Saskatchewan Canadian Alliance MP David Anderson.

Researchers Plan For Heat Waves
The Windsor Star (p.A5) | by Sharon Hill | October 24, 2002

Global warming could mean more droughts, more insect infestations and more weeds for Canadian farmers, says a federal report on climate change released this week.

Fredericksburg, V.A.-Area Pumpkin Farmers Reap Puny Profits Due To Drought
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Jessica Allen | October 24, 2002


Weather Unkind To Beet Harvest
Western Producer | by Barbara Duckworth | October 24, 2002

READYMADE, Alta. — The sugar beet harvest of 2002 may be one most Alberta farmers would prefer to see from the rearview mirror.

Canadian Farmers Face Dangers, Opportunities From Climate Change
CBC News | October 23, 2002

BRANDON, MAN. - Federal scientists say fresh, country air isn't as clean as most people think. They've found 12 per cent of the country's greenhouse gases come from agriculture.

Australia Drought Further Cuts Crops
Planet Ark | October 23, 2002

SYDNEY - Australia's severe six-month drought would further cut 2002/03 crop sizes and erode national economic growth, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) said yesterday.

Utah Farmers Devastated By Drought, Insects In 2002
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Lesley Mitchell | October 23, 2002

First came a hard frost that wiped out most of the state's fruit harvest. Then came armies of crickets and grasshoppers gobbling on any plants they could find.
The drought that made it difficult for farmers to coax their crops out of parched earth was only one problem that has made this year among the worst ever for the state's agriculture industry, according to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food's 2002 annual report released Tuesday.

Harsher Weather Expected
The Leader-Post (Regina) (p.B4) | by Andrew Ehrkamp | October 23, 2002

Global warming will have a devastating effect on farmers in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada as future droughts occur more often and for longer periods of time, say Canada's top climate change researchers.

Farm Future Cloudy With Climate Change
Daily Herald (Prince Albert) (p.11) | October 23, 2002

REGINA -- Global warming will have a devastating effect on farmers in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada as future droughts occur more often and for longer periods of time, say Canada's top climate change researchers.

Atlantic Canada Farmers Rebound From Drought
Brockville Recorder and Times (p.A10) | by Alison Auld | October 23, 2002

Ivan Noonan happily surveys a vast stretch of farmland on Prince Edward Island, watching as crews pluck fresh potatoes from rich, red soil. It's a sight he could only dream of last year, when one of the Island's worst droughts left the province parched, crops stunted and the industry down an estimated $50 million in lost revenues.

CN Profits Up Despite Slack Grain Shipments Due To Drought
CBC News | October 22, 2002

MONTREAL - Increased shipments of automotive, chemical and forest products helped Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) weather the falloff in grain shipments this summer, the company said Tuesday.

New Wheat Gives Bigger Yields - Even In Drought
CSIRO | October 22, 2002

A new variety of high-grade wheat capable of increasing grain yields in drought-affected areas by up to 10 per cent was released at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute today.

For Farmers In Wellington County, Luck Was A Big Factor In Harvests This Year As Sparse Rainfall Hit
CP Wire | October 20, 2002

GUELPH - For farmers in Wellington County, luck was a big factor in harvests this year as sparse rainfall hit some farms at just the right time ... but bypassed others nearby. "We had rain here at the right time," said Jane Van Ankum, who operates a primarily dairy farm with her husband near Drayton.

Drought Sets Back Breeding Programs
Western Producer | by Michael Raine | October 18, 2002

The 2002 season injured breeding programs for prairie grains. Insects and poorly timed weather near Edmonton left plant breeders who traditionally see yields of 1,300-1,500 grams per plot harvesting only 200. That limits their ability to study yield data.

El Nino Offers Little Relief For Dry Prairies
Western Producer | by Michelle Houlden | October 18, 2002

The Pacific Ocean climate system known as El Nino will bring a milder than normal winter to most of Canada, but little relief for parched prairie fields, says Environment Canada.

Farmers' Plight Hurts Equipment Suppliers
The Leader-Post (Regina) (p.B3) | by Colleen Silverthorn | October 18, 2002

Two consecutive years of drought combined with a plague of grasshoppers and untimely rain at harvest have hurt not only farmers, but also the companies that supply their equipment.

U.N. Says Cereal Output To Plummet
Associated Press | October 18, 2002

ROME -- World cereal stocks are expected to fall sharply next year because of poor crops in several countries, deepening the humanitarian crisis in southern Africa, a U.N. food agency said.

Kilimanjaro Ice Core Records: Evidence Of Holocene Climate Change In Tropical Africa
Science Magazine (Volume 298, Number 5593, pp.589-593) | October 18, 2002

Six ice cores from Kilimanjaro provide an ~11.7-thousand-year record of Holocene climate and environmental variability for eastern equatorial Africa, including three periods of abrupt climate change: ~8.3, ~5.2, and ~4 thousand years ago (ka). The latter is coincident with the "First Dark Age," the period of the greatest historically recorded drought in tropical Africa. Variable deposition of F- and Na+ during the African Humid Period suggests rapidly fluctuating lake levels between ~11.7 and 4 ka. Over the 20th century, the areal extent of Kilimanjaro's ice fields has decreased ~80%, and if current climatological conditions persist, the remaining ice fields are likely to disappear between 2015 and 2020.

Agricorp 'Dancing' On Soybeans: MPP
St. Thomas Times-Journal (p.4) | October 17, 2002

Steve Peters is calling on the Ontario government to help beleaguered soybean farmers get suitable compensation for their low grades due to the severe lack of rain this growing season.

Warning Australia May Have To Import Feed Grain Due To Drought
Agence France Presse (AFP) | October 17, 2002

SYDNEY - Australia, one of the world's leading grain exporters, may be forced to import feed grain for its livestock because of the severe drought now ravaging much of the nation for a seventh month, a lawmaker said Thursday.

African Ice Core Analyis Reveals Catastrophic Droughts, Shrinking Ice Fields And Civilization Shifts
Ohio State University | October 15, 2002

An analysis of six cores retrieved from the rapidly shrinking ice fields atop Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro shows that those glaciers formed about 11,700 years ago. The analysis supports predictions that these bodies of ice will disappear in the next two decades.

Drought Forcing Farmers To Make Tough Decisions
The St. Paul Journal (p.23) | by Todd MacKay | October 15, 2002

Jacques Plante raised his first pig when he was nine-years-old. He sold that pig for about $100. Thirty years later he's still raising pigs and he's still selling them for about $100. But with the rising costs, that $100 hardly covers the barley the hogs eat.

Forecasters Expect Reduced Florida Citrus Fruit Harvest
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Jerry W. Jackson | October 13, 2002

There's less fruit on Florida citrus trees this year -- and that could translate to a little more green in the pockets of growers. Dry weather hit the Florida orange crop hard, slashing the projected harvest for the new season to 197 million boxes, down 14 percent from the past season and 19 percent below the record of 244 million boxes in 1998, forecasters said Friday.

Supply Management Provides Buffer Against Ravages Of Drought: Dairy Farming
Edmonton Journal (p.F1) | by Mairi MacLean | October 11, 2002

If their cows seem happy, perhaps it's because dairy farmers aren't suffering the decimating effects of this year's drought as are their counterparts in other parts of agriculture.

Environmentalists Warn Drought Is Result Of Climate Change
Associated Press | by Danya Levy | October 11, 2002

SYDNEY (Kyodo) - Environmentalists have warned a six-month drought plaguing Australia is the result of climate change and are calling on the government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the Climate Action Network of Australia (CANA) said Friday. About 90% of the state of New South Wales is parched, with the northeastern state Queensland and the southeastern state Victoria also declared drought-affected in Australia's worst dry spell in a decade.

Des Vendages Pleines De Promesses
La Terre de Chez Nous, (p.2) | par Thierry Lariviere | 10 octobre, 2002


Dealing With Drought: What Ranchers Should Know Before Independence Day
ARS News Service | October 10, 2002

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So said Benjamin Franklin, and Agricultural Research Service scientists at the Fort Keogh Livestock and Range Research Laboratory in Miles City, Mont., have taken this advice to heart. They are looking for ways to manage drought on rangeland before the problem gets out of hand and herds run out of forage.

Return Of El Nino Bodes Ill For Farmers
The Globe and Mail (p.A9) | by Wallace Immen | October 10, 2002

That perverse El Nino is back, threatening to prolong the drought that is already devastating the crops of a large number of Canadian farmers, Environment Canada forecasters said yesterday.

Global Warming Boosts Crops, Cuts Nutrients - Study
Planet Ark | October 9, 2002

WASHINGTON - Global warming could increase rice, soybean and wheat production in some areas, but the greater plant growth could also hurt the nutritional value of the crops, Ohio researchers said.

Years Of Floods May Follow Australian Drought - Study
Planet Ark | October 9, 2002

SYDNEY - As if the current record-busting drought in Australia were not enough, farmers may have to prepare for extreme and recurring flooding over the next 25 years or so, according to new research on longer-term weather patterns.

El Nino May Mean Mild Winter
The Globe and Mail | October 9, 2002

Ottawa — El Nino is expected to bring a milder winter to most parts of southern Canada and possibly drier conditions to the Prairies, says Environment Canada. "Climatologists have confirmed that an El Nino is now under way and Canada should begin to experience its influence by December," the department said Wednesday in a statement.

Hudson Valley Apple Farms Wrestle With Slim Pickings
New York Times | by Julia Moskin | October 9, 2002

STAATSBURG, N.Y. — There are hardly any apples at Breezy Hill Orchard here. A year ago Elizabeth Ryan, who owns Breezy Hill, a 45-acre farm in Dutchess County, walked aisles of Jonagold, Macoun, McIntosh and Golden Russet trees that groaned under the weight of their fruit. It was one of the best years ever, she said last week.

Sydney Or The Bush...
Cotton World | October 9, 2002

Hot, dry conditions that stoked the bushfires in Sydney are likely to persist until December across most of eastern Australia — bad news for farmers seeking relief with storm rain in late spring and summer.

El Nino Likely To Bring Milder Winter To Canada
Environment Canada News Release | October 9, 2002

OTTAWA - The latest El Nino is expected to bring a milder winter to most parts of southern Canada and possibly drier conditions to the prairies. Environment Canada climatologists have confirmed that an El Nino is now underway and Canada should begin to experience its influence by December.

Is Ear Drop In Corn More Common This Year?
Crop Observation and Recommendation Network | by Peter Thomison | October 6, 2002

I've heard reports lately from Extension and seed company agronomists that ear drop in corn may be greater than normal this year. There are several factors that may be contributing to "ear retention" problems. In many fields, European corn borers (ECB) are present in the shank or in the stalk near the ear, and ECB feeding and injury may be causing ears to drop.

Ball State Climatologist: El Nino Difficult To Predict
NewsWise | October 5, 2002

MUNCIE, Ind. - El Nino has returned, but it is too early to anticipate how it will impact this winter's weather, says a Ball State University climatologist.

Increased CO2 Levels Are Mixed Blessing For Agriculture
NewsWise | October 5, 2002

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A new study suggests that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could be a boon for agricultural crops, as this greenhouse gas helps crop plants grow and reproduce more.

Water Concerns Can Affect 2003 Crop Selection
Crop Watch News Service | by Andrea Fischer | October 4, 2002

Water availability is a major concern for farmers as they decide what crops to plant in 2003, a University of Nebraska cropping system specialist said.

Assessing Irrigation Problems From The Combine Window
Crop Watch News Service | by C. Dean Yonts, Bill Kranz and Jose Payero | October 4, 2002

Drought was the overriding concern for many producers this season. For irrigators it meant the relentless task of irrigating almost constantly to keep up with the crop's water needs.

Consider Benefits Of Cover Crops This Year
Crop Watch News Service | by Charles Wortmann | October 4, 2002

In fields where crop yields were low, there may be much nitrate-nitrogen carryover and increased potential for wind and water erosion due to poor ground cover. In these areas, cover crops may be a feasible option this year.

U.S. Drought Aid No Done Deal
Ontario Farmer | October 4, 2002

A group of U.S. lawmakers continues to look for ways to get more disaster assistance to farmers but a Reuters article says it could be an uphill struggle.

Apples Hit By Frost, Drought: 2002 Crop Reduced By Up To 75%
The Chatham Daily News (p.10) | by Chris McGregor | October 4, 2002


Prairies Heading For Water Disaster: Ecologist
The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) (p.A3) | by Ryan Lorge | October 4, 2002


Wheat Not Hampered By Droughty Soils
Ontario Farmer | October 3, 2002

Wheat can withstand conditions other commodity crops find intolerable, including moisture deficiencies and late planting. What it can't stand are pests and saturated soils, says a Purdue University researcher.

White House Urges Mexico To Share Water With United States
Knight-Ridder Tribune | October 3, 2002

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration Wednesday urged Mexico to release water into the Rio Grande to help drought-plagued Texas farmers and to pay down its 10-year water debt to the United States.

El Nino Spreads Through Pacific, Outlook Mixed
Reuters News | by Michael Christie | October 3, 2002

SYDNEY - Like a locust swarm, a drought-causing El Nino weather event is slowly spreading across the South Pacific, threatening to rob fishermen of their livelihoods and starve impoverished islanders of food.

Fields Of Drought, Exploration Of Situation In The Prairies
CBC News | October 3, 2002


Saskatchewan Upbeat About Dry Beans
Ontario Farmer | October 2, 2002

It's been a bean year in southern Saskatchewan, says a Saskatchewan crops specialist. In an article on the provincial government web site, Ray McVicar says irrigated growers in the Lake Diefenbaker area will have another successful bean year.

Late Frost, Lack Of Rainfall Bruise Wisconsin's Apple Harvest
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Jennie Tunkieicz | October 2, 2002

ROCHESTER, Wis. - Apple lovers might find some of their favorite varieties missing this season after a spring frost and a summer drought took a big bite out of this year's apple harvest, especially in Racine County.

Saline County, KAN., Farmers Test Wheat Varieties
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Tim Unruh | October 2, 2002


USDA To Help Livestock Farms, Including Many In York County, PA.
Knight-Ridder Tribune | by Barbara C. Neff | October 2, 2002

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Agriculture Department's $752 million Livestock Compensation Program began accepting applications Tuesday from farmers hurt by drought conditions, which include many of York County's 1,340 livestock producers.
The Agriculture Department reported that livestock producers in drought areas across the nation lost $103 million in gross receipts last year and $583 million this year.
The program will provide monetary relief to eligible producers in counties that have received primary disaster designation because of drought in 2001 or 2002. Producers in counties that had disaster designations pending as of Sept. 19 will also be eligible if approved for designation.

Monsanto Teams Up With UAS
Business Line | October 2, 2002

BANGALORE - Biotechnology major, Monsanto, has roped in the University of Agricultural Sciences (UAS), Bangalore to work on identifying `drought tolerant genes,' even as its scientists intensify research on drought-tolerant crops.

Blowing Hot And Cold On El Nino; It Depends On Where You Live
The Windsor Star (p.D10) | by Lee Bowman Scripps | October 2, 2002


Elements Combine Against Farmers
The Leader-Post (Regina) (p.B3) | by Michelle Lang | October 1, 2002

Saskatchewan farmers already knew drought has devastated their wheat yields, but now they are finding wet weather and frost have also badly damaged the crop's quality.
Well over half of the wheat crop has now been harvested, with only eight per cent of the spring wheat expected to be a top-quality grade, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's crop report.
























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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