Climate change, Water crisis, food shortage??

veggierosalie(CAN 3)April 7, 2009

I have heard a lot lately about the impending water crisis and restrictions on irrigation in California and the subsequent food shortage that could arise from this.

Is anyone here worried or thinking about the implications for their own farming operation? California provides a substantial percentage of the fresh vegetables in the USA, so this could mean shortages at the supermarket. An up-side (if there is one) could mean more folks coming to farmers markets looking for produce.

Any thoughts?

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sunnfarm3

The fruit and vegetable industry in the USA, got started on the east coast and shifted west with the construction of federally subsidised water projects, transportation, and cheap fuel. Today we are seeing a shift back to the east coast. Locally I'm seeing new companies relocating part of their operations from the west coast and south west. We still have good land a long growing season a sustainable water supply and most of the nations population nearby. I would not worry about any food shortages yet... Bob.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 8:20PM
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veggierosalie(CAN 3)

That is interesting. I had read so many accounts of the water crisis in California and the articles mention that California supplies over 1/2 of the USA's fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables and over 90 percent of U.S. almonds, artichokes, avocados, broccoli and processing tomatoes.

It is good to know that production is shifting to more sustainable regions, as the water shortage may only worsen.

I guess I am worried over nothing, maybe?

Here is a link that might be useful: Water scarcity and agriculture in California

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 9:31AM
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hanselmanfarms

I know last year, after the food scare, we had alot more customers shopping at the farmers market. Plus there is a "movement" going on called "localore" basically meaning eating food grown within 100 miles of your home. I hope to cash in on that. I have also realized a upsurgence of people wanting to know how to preserve food. Lucky for me, I've been canning for all of my life, that I remember.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2009 at 4:37PM
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hedwig(QLD Brisbane)

This is a huge chance for the market gardener, especially if you have an independent water source. Water tanks don't have lots of capacity but they are still a great thing, they empty quick and fill up quick.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 11:53PM
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hanselmanfarms

I capture rain water in 55 gal barrels and then transfer the water into a 30"x 15' swimming pool. We use the 'pool' water to help with irrigation when Mother Nature is not cooperating. I do have to put some bleach in it occasionally to keep the mosquito larvae population down some. This year, I forgot to put the pool away and it collected rain/snow all winter. It froze and thawed without any problems that we have found yet.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 10:02AM
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teauteau(KC5/6)

This is a huge opportunity for farming all over the country. Like someone else said, fruit and vegetable growing is shifting back east. There are however, things we won't be able to grow in New Jersey or Kansas such as avocadoes and pistaschios. This doesn't mean the collapse of California's huge agrobusiness and I wouldn't want to see that. But, here's a chance for farmers in states like mine (Kansas) to grow fruit and vegetables that traditionally have not been grown here because of the tradition of growing grain crops and meat animals. In a lot of states, this is going to be a challenge to break up the old models of agriculture and that will need to start with pressure on the Land Grant Universities to be more proactive in helping farmers diversify their crops. Getting people to think outside of the box is the hardest part, but it can, and will be done as farmers realize the potential markets that are out there. There will always be the army of experts and spin doctors that will come up with all kinds of reasons not to think this through, but that's with any kind of change.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2009 at 3:26PM
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calliope(6)

It will also mean a return to growing really tasty vegetables and fruits. That's something a large percentage of our population has never even experienced, because they are used to tomatoes bred for harvesting and shipping reasons, and picked green. It means more exotic local fruits like paw paws you can't even think about shipping. Agriculture in California isn't only at risk because of sustainability issues, it's at risk because it's worth more developed than as farmland.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2009 at 12:53AM
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hanselmanfarms

We have had some farmers (corn/beans type) start to use some of the ground that they wouldn't have used to grow veggies. Their problem is they expect people to run up and buy from them if they sit the produce out, even if they don't put prices or do ANY selling.

This is not JUST growing things, we have to market it also. They just see the growing part.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 5:45PM
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