Frosts and freezes have torn through Northern Hemisphere growing regions in recent months, and the impacts are now beginning to be felt across nations’ fields and shelves.
UK Vegetables Supplies “Desperately Low”
The UK suffered a historically cold Spring; in fact, the season was a complete no-show.
Brits shivered through the chilliest April since 1922.
And one of the coldest Mays since CET record-keeping began some 362 years ago, in 1659.
While the European continent as whole also experienced its coldest April in decades.
And now, reports a filtering in of certain vegetable being in “desperately low” supply.
A severe shortage of British asparagus has been reported by thegrocer.co.uk.
According to the publication, this year’s yields have been devastated by a prolonged period of cold weather.
During the past three months, the UK have been exposed to well-below-average temperatures, and two months of drought — these conditions stunted the growth of asparagus plants, which are typically grown in open fields under polythene sheeting.
According to British Asparagus Association chairman Chris Chinnrecord –a club I so want to join– the record cold has meant retailers and wholesalers are now in the “extraordinary” position of having to rely on imports.
This is the first time this has happened since 2013.
“We have been desperately short,” says Chinn, who also farms the crop in Worcestershire.
“Yields are well under half so far compared to an average year. It’s been an absolutely shocking spring season for all crops … we’re supposed to be harvesting asparagus and there’s no opportunity to catch up.”
The asparagus season typically begins in the second half of April but can run no later than the end of June as growers must allow the following season’s crop to develop.
Some supermarkets are already reporting shortages, but the empty shelves are expected to be more noticeable in the weeks ahead.
“Prices have been higher, certainly in the early part of the season,” says Andy Allen, owner of Norfolk-based Portwood Asparagus. “[And] because growers aren’t going to get the tonnages, the prices are likely to go up again fairly soon.”
Allen added that grower costs had also been pushed up due to that ‘virus what was released from the Wuhan lab’–something I first reported on in Jan, 2020: here & here (you can’t censor me for suggesting it anymore FB/Twitter/Google).
For example, continues Allen, social distancing in packhouses had made operations “inefficient.”
Shortages extend to more than just Asparagus, of course, and further than just the UK.
As recently reported by freshplaza.com, the peach and nectarine harvest for the four main growing countries Greece, Spain, Italy and France is forecast to be the lowest in the past 30 years.
Suffering that same COVID/cold combo, “it is certain that there will be a shortage of supply this year,” concludes the FP article.
While grape growing in France was ravaged by historic April freezes.
“It’s a national phenomenon,” said Jérôme Despey at the time, the secretary general of the FNSEA farming union and a winemaker in the Hérault region.
“You can go back in history, there have been [freezing] episodes in 1991, 1997, 2003 but in my opinion it is beyond all of them.”
In the Rhône Valley, the head of the local wine producers’ body, Philippe Pellaton, said it would be “the smallest harvest of the last 40 years”, with losses of 80-90% compared with normal. Winemakers are “shattered, desperate”, he said.
Expect food prices to rise.
USDA Crop-Rating System is “a Joke”
Following harsh frost and freeze damage to crops in the Northern Corn Belt; dryness in the Dakotas and upper Midwest; plus a deluge of rain forcing replants in states like Missouri and Kansas, the 2021 growing season isn’t off to an great start for U.S. crops.
Yet, somehow, USDA’s Crop Progress report this week revealed 76% of the U.S. corn crop is rated good to excellent, which is 2 points better than this time last year.
The official ratings haven’t gone down well with farmers, who, upon looking out on their fields, are seeing struggling crops due to the cold-related weather extremes.
“It’s simply going to raise concerns among farmers once again about the crop rating system,” says Arlan Suderman of StoneX Group, who adds that while he still sees value in the system, it’s not a key statistic this early in the growing season.
“The correlation between crop ratings and final yield is very weak at this time of year,” Suderman explains.
“The bottom line is July makes the corn crop, August makes the soybean crop — this is the general thinking, and we’ve got a long way to go ahead of us for this crop to play out.”
Matt Bennett of AgMarket.Net says the factors to watch going forward aren’t just the ratings week by week, but how those ratings change over time.
“I think one of the things that’s going to matter is what’s the trend going to be from this point forward,” he says.
Social media was awash with critism of the latest USDA report.
Dave writes: “Here we go again, USDA famous reports. Crops look horrible around here, whats up isn’t that great, stand problems, yellow from the cold, stunted, lots of acres not up yet, and some replanting being done, what a joke!”
And Kevin Kroll replied: “They looked good in SW Wisconsin until we had freezing temps. Half of my no till acres got smoked in every ravine so it looks like a replant on some of those acres. Good luck with my replant in ground that’s bone dry and hard as a rock. I guess misery likes company.”
The U.S. suffered its coldest February in 30 years, despite NOAA forecasts of a “warmer than-average month.”
And the months of March and April also came out below-average, again despite government agency obfuscation.
Enjoy your weekend.
I’m off out to harvest my zucchinis/courgettes.
Also, look into the cryptocurrency ADA (Cardano) — there may be a window of opportunity to make a few bucks, in order to help you prepare for the coming collapse. I expect the coin to hit $10 “soon,” perhaps even by the end of 2021. But I stress, absolutely nothing is certain, and only use funds you can afford to lose. Accepting these caveats though, and assuming the Sun doesn’t fire out an X-flare and/or the markets don’t suffer an overall tanking, then ADA could provide a 6X on your investment in a relatively short period of time. Something to look into over the w/e.
The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING, in line with the great conjunction, historically low solar activity, cloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among other forcings).
Both NOAA and NASA appear to agree, if you read between the lines, with NOAA saying we’re entering a ‘full-blown’ Grand Solar Minimum in the late-2020s, and NASA seeing this upcoming solar cycle (25) as “the weakest of the past 200 years”, with the agency correlating previous solar shutdowns to prolonged periods of global cooling here.
Furthermore, we can’t ignore the slew of new scientific papers stating the immense impact The Beaufort Gyre could have on the Gulf Stream, and therefore the climate overall.
Prepare accordingly— learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.
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Grand Solar Minimum + Pole Shift