America's drought continues to expand, and its impact on the nation's cow herd can't be exaggerated. By our calculations, at least 65% of America's cows are in state's currently experiencing widespread moderate to exceptional drought.
California's drought is the worst in recorded history, and ranchers are shipping their cattle east. Reuters reports that up to 100,000 California cattle have been shipped out of state in the past four months.
Many are headed to Texas, though most of that state doesn't seem to be in much better shape. Homeowners near Lubbock report their water wells have run dry as the cotton irrigation season began.
Frustrated with the Feds
An "anti-science movement" is preventing advancements in food safety. That's the opinion of Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He believes more food should be irradiated to kill harmful bacteria. He's not alone. Dozens of scientific studies have shown that irradiated food is safe, and the process has been approved by the World Health Organization, American Medical Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Yet proponents of irradiation are frustrated with the federal government for endorsing irradiation but then not educating the public as it has with childhood immunizations and water fluoridation. The FDA has approved irradiation to wipe out pathogens in dozens of food products.
The annual spring burning of the prairie is mostly over in the Flint Hills of Kansas. But the annual rite of spring always generates interest from environmentalists and others who are intrigued by the practice. The Flint Hills are the largest remaining tall grass prairie due to the fact the soils are shallow and unrelenting to the plow. This story from NPR offers a glimpse of fire as a management tool, along with some great photos.
Shrimp in Dairyland?
Wisconsin is famous for beer, cheese and the Green Bay Packers, but Forbes Adam hopes to also make the Badger State synonymous with shrimp. Yes, shrimp, one of America's favorite sea foods, has come to the heartland. Adam operates aptly named Dairyland Shrimp, Wisconsin's first indoor shrimp farm. To keep the shrimp alive, the room containing the shrimp tanks must be kept at 93 degrees F.