Ranchers Sell Off Cattle And Farmers Idle Hundreds Of Thousands Of Acres As America’s Drought Emergency Escalates

by | Jun 10, 2021 | Headline News | 17 comments

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    This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog.

    In my entire lifetime, this is the worst that drought conditions have ever been in the western half of the country.  During the past 20 years, the amount of territory in the West considered to be suffering from exceptional drought has never gone higher than 11 percent until now.  Today, that number is sitting at 27 percent.  The term “mega-drought” is being thrown around a lot these days to describe what is happening, but this isn’t just a drought.  This is a true national emergency, and it is really starting to affect our food supply.

    Just look at what is happening up in North Dakota.  The vast majority of the state is either in the worst level of drought or the second-worst level of drought, and ranchers are auctioning off their cattle by the thousands

    “Normally this time of the year, we’re probably looking at 400-600 head and a lot of times would be every other week,” said former auctioneer Ron Torgerson.

    On Sunday and Monday, more than 4,200 head of cattle were sold at Rugby Livestock and Auction.

    Needless to say, ranchers in North Dakota don’t want to get rid of their cattle, but the drought has pushed prices for hay and corn so high that many of them simply have no choice.

    One of those that has already been forced to sell a large number of cattle is rancher David Bohl

    As the drought continues, the price of hay and corn has gone way up. It’s more expensive for ranchers to try and supplement feed than it is to sell the cattle.

    Bohl has already sold 200 of his head in the last month.

    “Everybody is in the same situation, they’re going to have to sell probably 25 to 50% of them because there’s nowhere to go with them we just got no food to feed them,” Bohl said.

    As cattle herds shrink all over the western half of the country, this is going to push beef prices significantly higher than they are right now.

    And in many areas, they are already at ridiculous levels.

    Meanwhile, the drought continues to push the water level in Lake Mead into the danger zone.  According to CBS News, Lake Mead will soon hit the “lowest level ever recorded”…

    For more than eight decades, the iconic Hoover Dam has relied on water from Nevada’s Lake Mead to cover up its backside. But now, at age 85, it finds itself uncomfortably exposed. Much of the water the dam is supposed to be holding back is gone.

    “This is like a different world,” said Pat Mulroy, the former head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority. She told CBS News senior national and environmental correspondent Ben Tracy that Lake Mead, the nation’s largest reservoir, is on track to soon hit its lowest level ever recorded.

    Since the year 2000, the water level in Lake Mead has declined by a whopping 30 feet, and it is currently at just 37 percent of capacity.

    The dam’s hydropower output has already been reduced by about 25 percent, and once the water level gets low enough it will stop producing electricity completely.

    In addition, many farmers that rely on water from Lake Mead are facing a very uncertain future at this point…

    For the first time ever, the federal government is expected to declare a water shortage on the lower Colorado River later this summer. That will force automatic cuts to the water supply for Nevada and Arizona starting in 2022. Homeowners have higher priority and, at first, won’t feel the pain as badly as farmers.

    Dan Thelander is a second-generation family farmer in Arizona’s Pinal County. The water to grow his corn and alfalfa fields comes from Lake Mead. “If we don’t have irrigation water, we can’t farm,” he said. “So, next year we are going to get about 25% less water, means we’re going to have to fallow or not plant 25% of our land.”

    Unless something changes, Thelander and other farmers in the region could potentially have all water cut off in 2023.

    That is just two years away.

    Of course, there are many farmers in California that have already been informed that they will not be getting any water allocated to them at all here in 2021.  It is being projected that farmers in the state will not grow anything on 500,000 acres this year, and that is really bad news because California grows more than a third of our vegetables and two-thirds of our fruits and nuts

    Along with wildfire risks, short water supply is putting immense pressure on the state’s agricultural industry, which grows over a third of the country’s vegetables and supplies two-thirds of the fruits and nuts in the US. Already farmers are culling crops and fallowing fields in anticipation of water shortages. Karen Ross, California’s food and agriculture secretary, told the California Chamber of Commerce that she expected 500,000 acres would have to sit idle this year.

    So what are we going to do if this mega-drought persists several more years and agricultural production in California is dramatically reduced for an extended period of time?

    I am sure that some wise guy will post a comment after this article about importing more fruits and vegetables from South America, but South America is experiencing a historic drought too.

    In fact, at this moment Brazil is experiencing the “worst drought in nearly a century”, and scientists are anticipating that it will not end any time soon.

    Needless to say, the droughts that we are witnessing are setting the stage for many of the things that I have been warning about, and the future of agricultural production in the western hemisphere is looking quite bleak for the foreseeable future.

    In the short term, this crisis is going to result in substantially higher prices at the grocery store.  I know that grocery prices have already risen to painful levels, but the truth is that food prices will never be as low as they are right now.

    So I am encouraging everyone to stock up while they still can.

    As I have said so many times, we really struggle to feed everyone in the world during the best of years, and 2021 is definitely not one of the best of years.

    Global food supplies are getting tighter and tighter, and this definitely has enormous implications for our future.

    ***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

    About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.



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      1. We should be importing more fruits and vegetables from South America 🙂

      2. With all that cattle hitting the market at the same time wouldn’t the price of beef be going down?

        • When all of them hit the market, the price will drop, but once they’re used up the prices will skyrocket. I’ve got some that need to be sold now, but I’ll wait a while and see. Weather is good here in Indiana, a little dry but good.

          • I remember reading in the past of USDA reduced regulations… Is it true that our meat processing system doesn’t have to disclose that meats came from cloned animals? I imagine that after slaughtering lots of animals, many in the business will buy top of the line studs or whatever is necessary to repopulate.

      3. Be careful of the canned fruit you buy when stocking up. China sells it here in the US. Pom***. I got sick after eating their canned pears which I threw up right after eating a half a pear which were of the poorest grade possible, so I discarded the rest down the toilet. I didn’t know when I bought this brand it was from China. Look at the fine print.

        When China meant to spread the Covid 19 virus by flying those exposed or sick from Wuhan around the world but not allowing them to travel out of the province of Wuhan in China, they meant to kill us or make us sick. Same goes with their dogfood with toxins killing our pets some years ago, the toxic paint in the toys to kill our children, so why not with canned food?

        • You are right woogie, I would advise buying nothing for China ? I know that’s hard in today’s market! But you better believe when you do, there is no telling what you are really getting? They mean to control the world at all cost!!!! Do not put anything pass them? Human life mean nothing to them.

      4. PV panels & desalting?

      5. Stop cutting down rain Forest for McDonalds hamburgers.

      6. yea, avoid Chinese dog chew toys and bones too. They ruin the animals teeth because they are too hard.
        Everything from China is from the dark side.

      7. Word going around the internet that much of the land in California/Nevada was subject to geo-engineering to create drought. (who controls the food controls the people). Stock up now before the rush is on and prices explode.

      8. Corporatists re-directed rivers into massive reservoirs. At that time, rivers were said to run dry. But, the reservoirs were high, as if by some political miracle of abundance like the fish and loaves!

        (Perhaps, in some tributary?) Someone had quoted a number of fish to be saved at 1,000 exactly. (Or, you can easily buy a sack of 1,000 fry.)

        Allowed to flow their normal course, again, to save the small number of fish, they say the water is just being “wasted” into the ocean. River water normally runs into the ocean.

        The last 5ish years, here, have been on the cooler, damper side, though it does not typically get really hot until Solstice — literally, the first day of (astronomical) Summer.

        I respectfully suggest that people look to their own security, as though anything wholesome, uplifting, or some store of value, is a form of contraband, under the collective, Freudian death drive.

      9. If it’s trashy, you can have it, in public.

        If it’s natalist or even just life-affirming, hide it under a bushel.

      10. What is the 90% shelf life of a can of no lite Spam stored at below 76 degrees? Twinkie also.

      11. Not making light of this drought…I know it adversely affects people’s livelihood…but most can do without “almond milk” and we can grow our own local tomatoes, etc. here in the east.

        I don’t buy California tomatoes because they are hard and flavorless. They ship them green and then gas them to make them red. They aren’t anything like home grown. We get our other fruits and most vegetables we don’t grow from local growers and orchards. Fresh local is always more nutritious and flavorful than factory canned or shipped 3000 miles in a reefer.

        Learn to put up your own grub and you will better weather the storm. The western US is historically a dry zone. Hopefully these farmers can survive until things get wetter and better.

      12. most of that lad is desert anyway. its public land that rancher pay a pittance to graze. We grow more grass on 40 acres in the Ozarks than grows on 10 sections out west. The retail price in the stores is determined by how much the 4 packing companies think that they can get. Not by the numbers of cattle being sold as the sale barn. Let those ranchers who graze the public lands go broke. They overgraze and actually think that they own that land. Its not heads of beef that is sold to the packers. Its pounds of beef. instead of 1100 pound finished cattle. since grain prices have risen. it might become a 500 pound weaned calf that go to the processors? Eventually the prices farmers and ranchers get for their weaned calfs will increase. Feedlots cannot feed expensive grain to low priced cattle. I watched U Tube Rodeo Reed. he sold hungry cow calf pairs . Hauled them from the Arizona Desert to the south west Texas area. They where unloaded and began to graze belly deep grass.

      13. Most all of our efforts, socially, are spent on radicalizing change agents and broken window policing.

        Or, simple, primitive infrastructure could evaporate and condense ocean water with no moving parts.

        There is produce, fodder, and livestock, to suit every climate, and low tech ways to create microclimates for food production.

        We have emphasized eternal revolution in our school systems, over basic subsistence, so that most of the population serves no useful purpose, except to be busybodies.

      14. We need a major infrastructure project. Build a 5 or 6 foot in diameter pipeline in a large oval around the country. The sole purpose of the pipeline would be to move excess water from flooded areas to drought areas. Where ever floods occur, the water is sent to drought areas to fill lakes.

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