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2004 U.S. Wheat Crop Is Under Attack

 

By James Donahue

 

If the weather doesn't get it, disease and mold appears destined to hit the 2004 U.S. wheat crop.

 

Two ominous reports . . . one about a mystery virus hitting the Kansas wheat fields and the other reporting an outbreak of wheat scab in the Midwest . . . suggest that Aaron C. Donahue's prediction of a world food shortage after 2005 may be coming true.

 

In a story recently published by the Kansas City Star, Dr. Patricia Doyle reports an unidentified virus attacking wheat fields all over the state this spring. She says the pathogen causes the plant's leaves to turn yellow and die.

 

One wheat specialist at Kansas State University told Doyle the problem began hitting the fields early and researchers are still trying to determine what they are dealing with. The story urges farmers to check their fields, but does not offer a solution to the virus if it turns up.

 

Another story from State College, Pa., warns of a widespread outbreak of wheat scab, a fungus that withers the grain and produces a chemical that can make humans and livestock sick.

 

The fungus, also known as Fusarium head blight, appears to be attacking crops from the mid-Atlantic to as far west as Missouri or Arkansas, according to Erick DeWolf, assistant professor of plant pathology at Penn State University.

 

"It is pretty bleak," said Don Hershman, an extension plant pathologist at University of Kentucky. Hershman said he has learned that the fungus is showing up in crops in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. It also is in Virginia.

 

In past years a bad wheat crop would not have been very alarming but an attack on this year's crop might prove disastrous.

 

The culprit is two-fold; a diminishing stockpile of emergency food reserves and climate change due to pollution and its sidekick, global warming.

 

Farm crop yields were hit in many areas from storms, drought, floods and other extreme weather patterns all over the world in 2002, 2003 and it is happening again in 2004. That the Midwest has been hit by an unprecedented number of tornadoes this spring is a clear sign that things are getting worse instead of better.

 

And there are other factors that a lot of people aren't thinking about when they go to their local grocery store for their weekly supply of food.

 

The introduction of genetically modified foods, especially among the wheat, corn and other grass related crops, and the heavy use of pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals on farm fields and in the genetic alterations of seed, will in some way pose a threat to the future food supply, Donahue said in a recent statement on his blog page.

 

Also acts by the U. S. government to join the World Trade Organization and adopt the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were designed to break down barriers and lower tariffs for international trade. Now, with free access to world grain markets, nations are relaxing maintenance on emergency food reserves.

 

Instead of stockpiling grains during good growing years, to cover those bad years, nations are now importing wheat, corn, rice and other products. The assumption is that bad growing seasons only happen in limited areas, and rest of the world will still be producing an adequate supply of food.

 

It was a good idea under normal world climate conditions. But what do we do when the entire world experiences bad growing years at the same time?

 

Will that happen in 2004?

 

Read Donahue's full statement titled "World Ecological Collapse and Food Shortages:"

 

"As of the year 2005, there will be clear evidence of future worldwide shortages of food most associated with the plant family Posceae. This will include wheat and many other forms of agriculturally grown grasses.

 

"The reasons for this are numerous however; it is the effect of human over-population, demand, genetic modification and chemical usage that presents the greatest threat to a consistent and abundant future harvest. The immune function of many grasses will continue to be stressed as per global warming, disease and pollution.

 

"Grasses are the predominant main staple food of the human race," the statement concludes.

 

 
















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