El Niño Trigger “Has Been Pulled”
Jun 23, 2014
June rains are a bit overdone in much of the Midwest and plentiful enough to shrink some of the orange out of the National Drought Monitor.
Still, California and much of the Southwest remain far below normal rainfall totals. The situation may change soon, however, if El Niño conditions continue to develop. A monthly report from the U.S. National Weather Service puts the odds of El Niño developing this summer at 70%, and there is an 80% chance that El Niño develops this fall and winter.
There are plenty of indications, however, that the weather phenomenon is already occurring. "The trigger for an El Niño has been pulled," says Shuhei Maeda, senior coordinator for El Niño information at the Japan Meteorological Agency. And it appears that this El Niño could rival the strong one witnessed in 1997 and 1998.
Down Under GM Debate
Genetically modified ryegrass could help Australian dairy farmers meet the growing demand for dairy products from their Asian customers. Approval of the modified ryegrass, however, has met resistance from many who fear contamination of neighboring properties and that existing labeling requirements will not adequately inform consumers. Aussie dairy farmers could add an extra $100 to $125 per acre profit through higher milk yields if the new ryegrass is approved. Such approval, however, is unlikely until 2020.
A Yak In Every Pot?
If you like to try novelty meats, yak might be one to put on your bucket list, though ground yak meat will set you back about $10 per pound. Currently, there are an estimated 7,500 yak in North America, with the meat going to specialty restaurants and butcher shops. Not exactly a glut of yak, still, "There's definitely been a growth spurt in the past five years," says Jim Watson, president of the International Yak Association.
Seminole Pride Beef
Florida may not be top-of-mind when you think of great steaks, but the Seminole Tribe of Florida Inc., aims to change that perception. Launched just a year ago, Seminole Pride Beef expects to market 8,000 head of cattle through the branded beef program this year. Alex Johns, natural resource director for the Seminole Tribe, says, "We are trying to utilize local businesses to bring a local product to the market place. We know that we produce a good product here. We're just trying to showcase it."