Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Drought in the US means higher food prices

When we lived on the west coast of Canada we were used to having drought conditions in the summer, but what if you're not used to it? Nova Scotia has had a very dry summer, the rivers are the lowest in recent memory (50 years) but the one on our property still maintained a good flow even though the water was shallow. We've talked to other local farmers who say that they don't have irrigation equipment. To spend $30,000 or more for used pipes and pumps doesn't make sense on a small farm scale when you might only have to use it one year out of 10. It's a decision that everyone has to make, to irrigate or not. For us, it's not really a question. We are still looking at drawing water from a dug out beside the river if needed but otherwise we want to work with mother nature as much as possible, The rainfall here historically is about 1 inch a week, or enough to support healthy plant growth. The lawns don't typically go dry and crispy, it stays green all summer, even in the heat. But it makes sense that for growing vegetables we should have a back-up source of water for livestock and irrigation purposes. A combination of water collection from metal roofs and ponds is our plan.

Here's a video from the BBC that will explain a little about conditions on the mid west and why we can expect corn prices and therefore livestock feed prices to continue to rise.

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