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Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Armyworm Poses a Major Threat to Food Security Worldwide

Posted by feww on February 6, 2017

Crop-Destroying Armyworm “Spreading Rapidly” in Africa –Study

Crop-destroying armyworm caterpillar is now spreading rapidly across Mainland Africa and could soon spread to tropical Asia and the Mediterranean, becoming a major threat to agriculture and food security worldwide, said CABI.

“We are now able to confirm that the fall armyworm is spreading very rapidly outside the Americas, and it can be expected to spread to the limits of suitable African habitat within just a few years. It likely travelled to Africa as adults or egg masses on direct commercial flights and has since been spread within Africa by its own strong flight ability and carried as a contaminant on crop produce,” CABI’s Chief Scientist said.

The fall armyworm destroys crop by burrows into them. It’s called the fall armyworm because it migrates into temperate North America in Autumn (fall). This pest has long been a problem throughout tropical America, damaging vital crops. It mostly affects maize (corn) but it has been recorded eating more than 100 different plant species, causing major damage to economically important cultivated grass crops such as maize, rice, sorghum and sugarcane as well as other crops including cabbage, beet, peanut, soybean, alfalfa, onion, cotton, pasture grasses, millet, tomato, potato and cotton. Source: CABI

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970 MMT of Soil Lost to Erosion Each Year in EU

Posted by feww on September 1, 2015

600 million m³ of topsoil lost to water erosion annually

The greatest loss of soil in Europe is due to erosion by water compared to other erosion processes, such as wind, says the EU in-house science service (JRC).

“Soil erosion by water is one of the major threats to soils in the European Union, with a negative impact on ecosystem services, crop production, drinking water and carbon stocks.”

About 68.3% of total soil losses occurs in agricultural lands, while forests account for less than 1%, says the report.

Italy (8.46 t ha−1 yr−1) has the highest average annual rates of soil erosion by water, followed by Slovenia (7.43 t ha−1 yr−1) and Austria (7.19 t ha−1 yr−1).

Selected Report Highlights

  • The mean soil loss rate in European Union is estimated to 2.46 t ha−1 yr−1 (agricultural, forests and semi-natural areas)
  • Arable and sparse vegetation have the highest soil loss rates.
    • 12.7% of European arable lands have soil loss >5 t ha−1 yr−1
    • Four million hectares of EU croplands have unsustainable rates of soil loss
  • Average annual rate of soil formation in Europe is about 1.4 Mt per hectare.
    • It takes 100 years to form 1 cm of new soil under natural temperate grasslands


Soil loss by water erosion in the European Union

Additional Notes and Discrepancies

Main statistical findings: Agricultural holdings

  • EU-28 total land area: 4,324,782 km² (432.5 million hectares)

 

 

 

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Drought Destroys More Crops in Florida, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Puerto Rico

Posted by feww on August 20, 2015

Drought kills crops in the NW, SE and Puerto Rico

Drought Disaster Designations #1

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Clallam and Jefferson counties in the State of Washington as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Drought Disaster Designations #2

USDA) has designated additional counties in Oregon and Washington as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

  • Oregon: Clackamas, Columbia, Hood River, Multnomah and Washington counties.
  • Washington: Clark and Skamania counties.

Drought Disaster Designations #3

USDA has designated additional counties in Florida as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought. Those counties are Broward, Glades, Hendry, Martin, Okeechobee and Palm Beach.

Drought Disaster Designations #4

USDA has designated Maui, Kauai and Kalawao counties in Hawaii as drought disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Drought Disaster Designations #5

USDA has declared additional crop disasters in Puerto Rico. The following municipalites have been designated as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Puerto Rico crop disaster areas: Barranquitas, Corozal, Morovis, Naranjito, Orocovis, Toa Alta and Vega Alta municipalities.

U.S. Drought Monitor – Weekly Comparison: Total U.S.

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-08-18 50.64 49.36 27.82 15.22 7.85 2.51
2015-08-11 51.65 48.35 27.52 14.97 7.69 2.51

 

CONUS

Week None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4
2015-08-18 54.91 45.09 29.29 18.17 9.37 3.00
2015-08-11 56.13 43.87 28.92 17.87 9.18 3.00

 

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 2,047 counties,  county equivalents and municipalities, across 33 States and PR: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming [and Puerto Rico.]

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations are due to drought so far this year.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on August 12, 2015.

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Extreme Weather Events Destroy Crops in Ten States and Puerto Rico

Posted by feww on August 13, 2015

Drought and deluge kill crops in 294 U.S. counties and municipalities

USDA declares crop disasters in Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon and Puerto Rico.

Crop Disaster Areas Designation # 1

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated all but one of the counties [Lake County] in the State of Illinois as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred during the period of June 1, 2015, and continues.

Illinois: Adams, Alexander, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Cook, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jersey, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Lawrence, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Massac, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Pope, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Richland, Rock Island, St. Clair, Saline, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby,  Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Vermilion, Wabash, Warren, Washington, Wayne, White, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, Winnebago and Woodford counties.

Indiana: Benton, Knox, Newton, Sullivan, Vigo, Gibson, Lake, Posey, Vermillion and Warren counties.

Iowa: Clinton, Jackson, Louisa, Scott, Des Moines, Lee and Muscatine counties.

Kentucky: Ballard, Crittenden, Livingston, McCracken and Union counties.

Missouri: Cape Girardeau, Marion, Saint Charles, Clark, Mississippi, Sainte Genevieve, Jefferson, Perry, Saint Louis, Lewis, Pike, Saint Louis City, Lincoln, Ralls and Scott counties.

Crop Disaster Areas Designation # 2

USDA has designated a total of 88 counties in Indiana as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred during the period of May 1, 2015, and continues.

Indiana: Adams, Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Brown, Carroll, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Gibson, Grant, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jackson, Jasper, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Kosciusko, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Miami, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Ohio, Orange, Owen, Parke, Pike, Porter, Posey, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, St. Joseph, Scott, Shelby, Starke, Sullivan, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Union, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Warrick, Washington, Wayne, Wells, White and Whitley counties.

Illinois: Clark, Crawford, Iroquois, Lawrence, White, Cook, Edgar, Kankakee, Wabash and Will counties.

Kentucky: Boone, Carroll, Gallatin and Trimble counties.

Michigan: Berrien and Cass counties.

Ohio: Butler, Defiance, Mercer, Preble, Darke, Hamilton, Paulding and Van Wert counties.

Crop Disaster Areas Designation # 3

USDA has designated a total of eight counties in Idaho and Montana as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Idaho: Butte, Clark, Custer, Idaho, Lemhi and Valley counties.

Montana: Beaverhead and Ravalli counties.

Crop Disaster Areas Designation # 4

USDA has designated ten counties in Oregon as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Oregon: Clackamas, Hood River, Jefferson, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Wasco, Washington and Yamhill counties.

Crop Disaster Areas Designation # 5

USDA has designated 28 municipalities in Puerto Rico as crop disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by a recent drought.

Puerto Rico: Aguas Buenas, Aibonito, Arroyo, Barranquitas, Caguas, Canovanas, Carolina, Cayey, Ceiba, Cidra, Fajardo, Guayama, Gurabo, Humacao, Juncos, Patillas, Comerio, Las Piedras, Loiza, Rio Grande, Luquillo, Maunabo, Naguabo, Salinas, San Juan, San Lorenzo,Trujillo Alto and Yabucoa municipalities.

****************** U.S. Drought Monitor *****************

Week   None   D0-D4   D1-D4   D2-D4   D3-D4   D4
2015-08-11 51.65 48.35 27.52 14.97 7.69 2.51
2015-08-04 52.97 47.03 26.02 14.62 7.37 2.36

************* Total US Weekly Comparison Stats  *************

Crop Disasters 2015

Beginning January 7, 2015 USDA has declared crop disasters in at least 1,986 counties, or county equivalents, across 32 States: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

USDA has also designated a total of 36 municipalities in Puerto Rico as drought disaster areas in the last two weeks.

About 99 percent of the 2015 crop disaster designations are due to drought so far this year.

Crop Disasters 2014

In 2014, USDA declared crop disasters in at least 2,904 counties across 44 states. Most of the designations were due to drought.

Those states were:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan. Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. [FIRE-EARTH has documented all of the above listings. See blog content.]

Notes:
i. USDA trigger point for a countywide disaster declaration is 30 percent crop loss on at least one crop.

ii. The counties designated as agricultural disaster areas, as listed above, include both primary and contiguous disaster areas.

iii. Some counties may have been designated as crop disaster areas more than once due to multiple disasters.

iv. The U.S. has a total of 3,143 counties and county-equivalents.

v. The disaster designations posted above were approved by USDA on August 12, 2015.

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YESTERDAY Was World Soil Day 2014

Posted by feww on December 6, 2014

CRITICALLY LOW LEVELS of Topsoil Have Already Been Reached: FIRE-EARTH, EDRO

Did you know?

Soil is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for services to ecosystems and human well-being. It is the reservoir for at least a quarter of global biodiversity, and therefore requires the same attention as above-ground biodiversity. Soils play a key role in the supply of clean water and resilience to floods and droughts. The largest store of terrestrial carbon is in the soil so that its preservation may contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation. The maintenance or enhancement of global soil resources is essential if humanity’s need for food, water, and energy security is to be met. FAO

And now, the rest of the story:

Topsoil

[The following was published by our colleagues at EDRO on February 18, 2008. Reprinted with permission from EDRO. ]

No Good for Farming!

“A [farmer] took up land [in Saskatchewan], dug a cellar and built a frame house on top of it; ploughed up the prairie and grew wheat and oats. After 20 years he decided the country was no good for farming, for eight feet of his soil had gone and he had to climb up into his house.” —Richard St. Barbe Baker, My Life, My Trees [Quoted by John Jeavons in How to Grow More Vegetables]

Land Use And Topsoil

once-a-forest.jpg
Once A Forest!
Photo credit: UNEP

Topsoil

Measuring an average of about 6.6 inches (16.76 centimeters) deep, topsoil is the upper layer of earth’s crust. Topsoil comprises of a mix of humus, mineral and composted materials giving rise to most of the soil’s biological activity and supplying nutrients to plants and therefore to animals. After air and water, topsoil is Earth’s most vital resource.

Topsoil: Wild Facts

topsoil-af8.png
Table TS1. Topsoil: Wild Facts
Note: The average bulk density of topsoil is calculated at about 1.4 gcm
-3

Causes of soil degradation

  • Soil erosion, salination, deforestation, overexploitation for fuelwood, overgrazing, nutrient depletion, large scale agricultural activities, industrialization and desertification.
  • The rate of degradation is increased exponentially against large scale agriculture.
  • Severe loss of arable land is affecting our ability to feed the world population.
  • Soil degradation is occurring globally, both in poor and wealthy countries.

Land Use and Degradation

soil-land-degradation-s.jpg
Table TS2. Earth: Land use and degradation

Note: The estimates for Biologically Productive Land are from a 2002 FAO report: The State of Food and Agriculture FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS Rome, 2005, ISBN 92-5-105349-9

References [accessed February 1-17, 2008]

Posted in Global Disaster watch, News Alert | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Drought Disaster Declared in Montana

Posted by feww on July 5, 2012

Stillwater and Yellowstone counties, Montana, declare drought disasters

Drought conditions created by unseasonably warm temperatures and below average precipitation has stunted crop growth to about 50 percent of normal.

Livestock feed on pasture is reduced by about 50 percent, while dry land hay production has suffered losses of about 85 percent, said an agricultural agent at Yellowstone County.


Total Weekly Precipitation (in)

Worst Drought Conditions Ever Reported

“I’ve never seen anything take hold quite this quickly. We are in mid-September conditions right now,” said Dave Kelsey who’s been farming and ranching in Yellowstone and Stillwater counties for 35 years.

Shrinking Crops

“Dryland hay production is estimated to be 15 percent of normal, and most of the dryland spring wheat is ‘not expected to make a harvestable grain crop,’ Stillwater’s resolution read. ‘Livestock pasture and range conditions are extremely poor due to lack of precipitation, excessive winds and grasshoppers.’” Said a report.

  • Agriculture is Montana’s no. 1 industry.

Montana Wildfires

A dozen large wildfires in Montana have destroyed more than 100 structures and forced at least 1,000 people to flee their homes amid dry conditions in recent days. The fires include

  • Ash Creek Complexhas consumed about 250,000 acres
  • Pony Fire: 5,000 acres
  • Horse Creek Fire:  8,000 acres
  • Dahl Fire: 22,000 acres
  • Bear Trap 2:  15,000 acres

Other Global Disasters/ Significant Events

  • Kansas.  Governor Brownback has updated the Drought Declaration for Kansas counties, amid  worsening drought conditions throughout the Wheat State.
    • The updated drought declaration covers all of the state’s 105 counties. A drought  emergency is in effect for 36 counties, while 55 counties are in a warning status and the remaining 14 in watch status.“Dry, windy and above normal temperatures in Kansas have led to a Drought Emergency declaration for 36 counties,”  said Brownback. “Below normal precipitation patterns are not only depleting available soil moisture, but these types of conditions have resulted in numerous fires as well.”
    • Norton, Kansas, was the hottest location in the U.S. with 118 degrees (47.8ºC) last week, NCDC reported.  Some 22 other locations across the state topped 110 degrees on Thursday June 28.
    • Executive Order 12-08 – Governor Updates Drought Order for Kansas Counties

Kansas Drought Map (June 26, 2012)


Drought has returned to Kansas with 100.00% of the state reporting abnormally dry or drought conditions (D0 – D3) as of June 26, 2012.

  • Florida. Six more counties have been added to the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Florida, state officials said. They are Clay, Franklin, Hernando, Highlands Pinellas and Suwanee counties.
    • On Tuesday, the Disaster President declared major disaster areas in Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Pasco and Wakulla counties due to the damage and losses caused by tropical storm DEBBY.
    • DEBBY landed on June 27 in Steinhatchee, Fla, dumping more than a foot of rain in some areas and causing major flooding across the state.
  • Eastern U.S. A massive heat wave continues to affect the eastern two thirds of the U.S., breaking high temperature records from the Midwest to the East Coast, said NWS.


US Weather Hazards Map, July 5, 2012.  Excessive Heat Warnings and
Heat Advisories were in effect throughout or in parts of at least 26 states, as of posting.

Mystery Illness Killing Cambodian Kids

See Global Alert in the next post.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global economy, Global Food Crisis, Global Food Shortages, global ghg emissions, global health catastrophe, global heating, global precipitation patterns, global Temperature Anomalies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Colorado Declared Agri Disaster Area

Posted by feww on July 4, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR – 4 July 2012

Symbolic Countdown: 1,351 Days Left 

[July 4, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,351 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History…

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Drought, Extreme Weather Events Cause Agricultural Disaster in Colorado

USDA has designated the state of Colorado as agricultural disaster area due to damage and losses caused by drought, excessive heat and high winds that began January 1 and continues.

  • All but two of Colorado’s 64 counties have been declared primary natural disaster areas, with the remaining counties, Delta and San Juan, being designated continuous disaster areas.

Other Global Disasters, Significant Events

  • Florida. The Disaster President has declared a major disaster exists in the state of Florida following the damage caused by Tropical Storm DEBBY.
    • Baker, Bradford, Columbia, Pasco, and Wakulla Counties are listed as Federal Disaster Areas.

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

Posted in global deluge, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global drought, global ghg emissions, global health catastrophe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Planet of Polluted Water

Posted by feww on October 2, 2010

Image of the Day:

The [Polluted] Water Planet

How Polluted is the Water on Your Planet?

From the space you cannot yet see how polluted the water is on the ‘Water Planet!’

Detailed, photo-like image of Earth based largely on observations by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite.Click Image to enlarge. Download large image (1 MB, JPEG). Image acquired July 10, 2005.

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Democratic Republic of Congo on Fire

Posted by feww on May 14, 2010

Slash-and-burn fires in Democratic Republic of Congo


MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image on May 13, 2010, after detecting  hundreds of fires (red dots) in southern Democratic Republic of Congo and northeastern Angola.  More than half of the GDP  of Democratic Republic of Congo comes from the agriculture sector, and fire is a pivotal part of agriculture across most of Africa. People burn crop residue to clear fields after harvest, and they burn forest and other natural vegetation to clear new land for farming. Image and Caption NASA/EO. [Edited for brevity and accuracy.] Click image to enlarge. Download large image (5 MB, JPEG)

Serial No 1,724. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by Google/the authorities in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

Posted in cropping cycle, environment, farming, Shifting cultivation, Transhumance | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Global Biosecurity Threat: New Zealand Light Brown Apple Moth

Posted by feww on September 13, 2008

DO NOT IMPORT NEW ZEALAND FLOWERS, FRUIT, FARM PRODUCE

As of midnight Friday September 12, 2008 the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, is banning all New Zealand flower imports following the discovery of flower shipments containing light brown apple moth eggs.

The light brown apple moth (LBAM), Epiphyas postvittana (Tortricidae), is a native pest of Australia and is now widely distributed in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Caledonia.


Light brown apple moths

USDA confirmed the detection of LBAM in Alameda County, California on March 22, 2007.  The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) aggressively surveyed the area to discover the extent to the infestation and identified the pest in 11 additional counties.  Intense control activities have contained LBAM within the initial detection area, and effectively eradicated the pest from Napa and Los Angeles counties.

LBAM is of particular concern because it can damage a wide range of crops and other plants including California’s prized cypress as well as redwoods, oaks and many other varieties commonly found in California’s urban and suburban landscaping, public parks and natural environment.  The list of agricultural crops that could be damaged by this pest includes grapes, citrus, stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, apricots) and many others.  The complete “host list” contains well over 1,000 plant species and more than 250 fruits and vegetables.

USDA and CDFA are working aggressively to control and eradicate this pest before it has the chance to spread requiring greater resources to protect American agriculture and our urban and suburban landscape. (Source)

Identification

There are many native tortricids that can be confused for the LBAM.  Adult moths must be identified by a qualified entomologist.  Larval stages cannot be reliably identified using morphological characters.  If you suspect the presence of LBAM, please notify your state department of agriculture or the State Plant Health Director’s Office of USDA, APHIS, PPQ.

Eposlarvae
E. postvittana
5th instar larvae

New Zealand: Home to over 250 LBAM host species

The insect is regarded as an herbivorous generalist, and the larvae feed on numerous horticultural crops in Australia and New Zealand, where they have limited natural predators. It is known to feed on 123 dicotyledonous plant species, including 22 Australian natives, belonging to 55 different families. In New Zealand, over 250 host species have been recorded. It feeds on nearly all types of fruit crops, ornamentals, vegetables, glasshouse crops, and occasionally young pine seedlings.

The larvae cause significant damage to foliage and fruit. Early instars feed on tissue beneath the upper epidermis (surface layer) of leaves, while protected under self-constructed silken webs on the undersurface of leaves. Larger larvae migrate from these positions to construct feeding niches between adjacent leaves, between a leaf and a fruit, in the developing bud, or on a single leaf, where the leaf roll develops. The late stage larvae feed on all leaf tissue except main veins

In New Zealand, over 250 host species have been recorded. It feeds on nearly all types of fruit crops, ornamentals, vegetables, glasshouse crops, and occasionally young pine seedlings. (Source)

Posted in environment, food, fruit, new zealand, USDA | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Should You Be Afraid, Really Afraid?

Posted by feww on August 26, 2008

Will your industrial food become even deadlier?

12 dead in Canada food poisoning outbreak

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Twelve people have now died out of 26 confirmed cases of food poisoning linked to deli meats produced at a plant owned by Maple Leaf Foods Inc, Canadian health officials said Monday.

There are another 29 suspected cases of listeriosis, officials told reporters, and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said the government expected more cases in coming days.

Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s biggest meat processors, had said it hoped to reopen the Toronto plant associated with the outbreak on Tuesday, but health officials said they will test and hold all meat produced there until they are satisfied it is not contaminated.

“The timeframe really isn’t theirs. It belongs more to the (Canadian Food Inspection Agency),” Ritz said. …

ID#: 2287 Description: Electron micrograph of a flagellated Listeria monocytogenes bacterium, Magnified 41,250X (Image size may have been changed). Listeria monocytogenes is the infectious agent responsible for the food borne illness Listeriosis. In the United States, an estimated 2,500 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year. Of these, 500 die. Content Providers(s): CDC/Dr. Balasubr Swaminathan; Peggy Hayes Provider Email: Creation Date: 2002 Photo Credit: Elizabeth White Copyright Restrictions: None – This image is in the public domain and thus free of any copyright restrictions. As a matter of courtesy we request that the content provider be credited and notified in any public or private usage of this image.

Source: http://phil.cdc.gov/phil_images/10302002/2/PHIL_2287_lores.jpg (Via wikipedia)

Listeriosis, an illness that is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, infants and people with weak immune systems, was a contributing factor in seven of the deaths, the Public Health Agency of Canada said. Full report..


Colonies of typical Listeria monocytogenes as they appear when grown on Listeria selective agar

Epidemiology

Incidence in 2004–2005 was 2.5–3 cases per million population and year in the USA, where pregnant women accounted for 30% of all cases. Of all nonperinatal infections, 70% occur in immunocompromised patients. Incidence in the USA has been falling since the 1990s, in contrast to Europe where changes in eating habits have lead to an increase during the same time. In Sweden, it has stabilized at around 5 cases per annum per million population, with pregnant women typically accounting for 1–2 of some 40 total yearly cases.

Listeriosis

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection caused by a motile bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes.[1] Listeriosis is relatively rare and occurs primarily in newborn infants, elderly patients, and patients who are immunocompromised.

In veterinary medicine, however, listeriosis can be a quite common condition in some farm outbreaks. It can also be found in wild animals; see listeriosis in animals. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Amazing Images: Terrace rice fields in Yunnan Province, China

Posted by feww on July 10, 2008


GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. (Credit: Jialiang Gao; via Wikimedia Commons)

Posted in Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

No Fertile Land, No Food!

Posted by feww on July 2, 2008

Accelerated land degradation threatens food security of a quarter of the world’s population: FAO

Main entry: Land degradation threatens 1.5 billion people


A dried up river filled with sand winds its way across the desert in eastern Chad, June 5, 2008. REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly.
Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

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Image of the Day: Southern Spain

Posted by feww on June 15, 2008

Desertification of Southern Spain


The land of southern Spain has dried, leading to rationing and disputes over water. Photo: Monica Gumm for The International Herald Tribune. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The average surface temperature in Spain has risen 2.7 degrees compared with about 1.4 degrees globally since 1880, records show. (Source)

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Environmental Disasters: Too Close for Comfort?

Posted by feww on June 14, 2008

submitted by a reader

“You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

Beginning to feel that the environmental disasters are getting up close and personal?

One minute you are in your comfortable home near Paradise, north of Sacramento, the next minute you are being consoled by the firefighters as you stand in the front garden watching your home turn into blackened cinder. They apologize for failing to help you, but it wasn’t their fault. They ran out of water!

Wondering why?


Butte Valley fire, Humboldt, Thursday night. Image: Jason Halley / Chico Enterprise-Record. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Into the SUV with what little you could snatch away from the mouth of the fire heading east to Iowa to stay with Aunt Molly. On interstate 29 a twister is about to touch down. Whoosh! You swerve out of the way just in time.


Parkersburg Tornado.
Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Aunt Molly’s house in Cedar Rapids wasn’t so lucky. It didn’t have wheels to drive away and avoid the floodwater; it is completely deluged.


An aerial photo shows a flooded area of downtown looking North over Cedar Rapids, Iowa June 13, 2008. Interstate I-380 can be seen at top while Mays Island, with Cedar Rapids City Hall, is seen on the left with its bridges under water. Floodwaters have inundated about 100 city blocks of Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second-largest city with 200,000 residents. REUTERS/Ron Mayland. Photo AP. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Five hours and a dozen phonecalls later, you are finally heading to the calm of Wisconsin to stay with Cousin Thelma and her family. Turn the radio on. Homes on Lake Delton in central Wisconsin have been ripped apart by deadly storm and washed away by floodwaters. Chilly gooseflesh grow on your forearms. Something tingles deep inside your gut, that uncomfortable feeling something is wrong. And you are right! Well, It’s Friday the 13th, you hear yourself murmuring.


Lake Delton is a popular tourist spot south of the Wisconsin Dells. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Distant Cousin Joe and his family are in deep mourning in Loveland. Two of their kids with four of their classmates and a teacher didn’t make it back from a fishing trip. And his 5,000 acre cornfield is submerged in floodwater …


Corn crop submerged in floodwaters near Loveland, Iowa, June 12, 2008.
REUTERS/Dave Kaup. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

Back to Iowa to stay with an old classmate who lives in Marshal Town, Iowa, and who invited you to visit her last summer. A rain check is as good as … a rain check! Finally you arrive in Marshal Town. But the whole town has been evacuated and the power plants have been shut down!

Well, at least you have the good old, reliable SUV, and it’s not as if the world is running out of corn to make ethanol for you!

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Food Riots Break Out in Bangladesh and Kenya

Posted by feww on June 2, 2008

See Main Entry: We Need Food!

Posted in Bangladesh, Climate Change, energy, environment, food, Global Warming, health, politics, Tourism, Travel, war | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Seeking Toxic Asylum

Posted by feww on May 29, 2008

submitted by a reader

Partenope: Naples Garbage Opera

Protagonists:

  • Queen Partenope: Played by the entire population of Naples and Campania [and the estimated 1.2 million tons of rotting garbage]
  • Prince Armindo of Rhodes: played by Il Duce [the leader] of Italy Silvio Berlusconi and his gang.
  • Prince Arsace of Corinth: The garbage incinerators in Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere
  • Prince Emilio of Cumae [who is at war with Naples and with Queen Partenope] : Played by the Camorra mafia

Full List of Actors:

  • Il Duce [the leader] of Italy Silvio Berlusconi
  • Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo
  • Camorra mafia
  • Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, head of the influential Italian Bishops Conference
  • The corrupt regional governor, Antonio Bassolino, and 27 others under house arrest.
  • City’s chief officer and special commissioner Alessandro Pansa (one of the 27)
  • Rosanna Laraia, head of waste management in Italy’s Ministry for the Environment
  • Billions of missing, misappropriated, or unaccounted for euros [ € billions ]
  • Environmental campaigner Francesco Pascale
  • Sergio Sedia and his wife Giulia
  • President Giorgio Napolitano
  • Just over 1 million Neapolitans (and a further 5 million people living in Campania region and the province of Naples.)
  • Hundreds of police officers in riot gears
  • Probably as many as 10 million “super-charged” rats and 100 million cockroaches living in the garbage piles throughout the city of Naples

Composer:

  • Germany’s George Frideric Handel

Act I – Seeking Toxic Asylum

In Act I of the famous Naples Garbage Opera, Partenope, Sergio Sedia and his wife Giulia request “toxic asylum” in Switzerland.

Sergio and his wife Giulia live in the “Triangle of Death” near Naples where the mafia has illegally dumped tons of toxic waste. British medical journal, The Lancet, reported in 2004 on “considerably higher cancer and deformity rates” in the area compared with other parts of the Campania region near Naples.


[Other than rats and cockroaches, what sort of vermin would transform its place of habitat to this?] A woman wearing a filtered mask walks past piles of trash thrown into a street intersection in protest in Naples May 16, 2008. REUTERS/Ciro Messere/Agnfoto. Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

“The (Italian) government has not protected my right to health, and in this area people are dying of cancers caused by tonnes of chemical and toxic waste illegally dumped here for more than 20 years,” said Sergio.

Camorra mafia has been secretly dumping thousands of tonnes of industrial waste since the 1980s in what is “the heart of some of Italy’s best farm land,” environmental groups said.

“This area is nearly entirely agricultural, there are no factories, but has mortality rates for cancers linked to pollution higher than the national average. Here one doesn’t die of a heart attack or an accident, but from tumors,” said Sedia, 34, who works in the finance industry.


Silvio Berlusconi Prime Minister of Italy (President of the Council of Ministers of Italy). Born 29 September 1936, he is an entrepreneur, media proprietor and Head of the

“What I eat and breathe every day makes me afraid because of the products — the asbestos, the lead, the dioxins that are there in the air, the soil, the ground water,” he told AFP.

Fearing also for the health of their unborn child, said Sedia, “we decided to demand protection abroad and our choice fell on Switzerland.”

“We want to save ourselves, and only another country can help us, because if waste is one enemy, the Italian state is another in continuing to deny there is a problem in this area.”

“The Italian authorities are trying to act as if the problem of contamination doesn’t exist,” he said.

“I am not very confident when I see the authorities test mozzarella (over dioxin poisoning) because it is a valuable product, but doesn’t conduct tests on us citizens because we don’t have any commercial value.”

Earlier this year samples of mozzarella cheese, made from buffalo milk, were found to have highlevels of the toxic compound dioxin. As a result, buffalo farms in the Campania region were quarantined.

Japan, Singapore and South Korea banned the import of Italian mozzarella, earlier this year. (Source)

continued …

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    Posted in air pollution, corruption, energy, environment, food, health, incinerators, money, politics, soil pollution, Water pollution | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Rising Food Prices and the US-China Trade Imbalance

    Posted by feww on April 27, 2008

    Rising Food, Fuel and Fertilizer Prices

    How expensive must food, oil and fertilizers get before they could turn the tide of China-US trade imbalance AND force the EU economy into major retreat?

    Would the breadbasket of the world use the rising prices of grains (cereal crops) as an economic weapon against China and EU?

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