Hot 5: Global Water Demand Chart. Cartoon Corner. Farmland Prices. DDGS is a Poor Product. Honey Uses.

1. Global Water Demand by 2050.

Right now there is a lot in the news about future water shortages because of the World Water Week meeting being held in Stockholm August 26-31, 2012.

The OECD graph above shows how and where water needs will increase by 55 percent between 2000 and 2050 for irrigation, energy, and factories.

IPS reports from the meeting, saying that the U.S. intelligence community is portraying a grim scenario of ethnic conflicts, regional tensions, political instability and mass killings as the world faces water scarcity over the next few decades.

In addition, the Environmental Working Group reminds us that energy extraction in fracking and other future methods require water and much of that water becomes contaminated.

By 2030, it is expected that about half of the world’s population will live in water stressed areas. Countries such as India could face significant interior strife due to inadequate water resources.

Since agriculture is the largest and most inefficient consumer of water, people will be looking towards solutions from the sector both in efficiency and in dietary changes, such as reducing meat consumption.

2. Cartoon Corner with Bob Dinneen.

Note that the above are direct quotes of Bob Dinneen, the President of the Renewable Fuels Association, from a video discussion on Platts Energy titled “The Ethanol Debate” from August 19, 2012.

Links to the videos (Part I and Part II) are here:

3. Chicago Federal Reserve Bank’s Second Quarter Farmland Price Report.

From the August 2012 Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Farmland price report:
  • The year-over-year gain in agricultural land values was 15 percent in the second quarter of 2012 for the Seventh Federal Reserve District.
  • 94 percent of agricultural loans seen by survey respondents have no significant repayment problems.
  • Iowa led the price increases with a year-over-year gain of 24 percent.

From the letter’s “Selected Agricultural economic indicators chart:

  • In this district, from two years ago, the July corn price is up 111 percent; wheat is up 85 percent; and hay is up 66 percent. In this district, May corn exports are down 34 percent from two years ago; soybean exports are up 111 percent; and wheat exports are up 50 percent.
  • July sales of tractors over 100 HP or more are up 43 percent over two years ago.

4. DDGS Product: The Real Story.

Photo: So. Dakota Corn Blog

The following paragraph is a rebuttal to Bob Dinneen, President of the Renewable Fuels Association, after Bob touted how wonderful DDGS product is (distillers grain product is what’s left-over from the ethanol process) in a Platts Energy video discussion. Michael Formica doesn’t share Dinneen’s enthusiasm for the product…

Talk about misleading. So this is like going to the fair and ordering a hot dog and just getting the bun. Our producers want to get corn. They value the corn for the energy in the corn, for the starch in the corn. The ethanol industry takes 70 percent by volume of the corn and removes it and gives us basically the hulls of the corn. Now, true, it’s valuable as a protein. That doesn’t replace corn, that replaces the soybean. Also, while the cattle industry can use it, its really a substitute for fiber. There’s very limited use for hog farmers. They can use up to 20 percent for a small period of time. The poultry industry can’t use it at all.

—Michael Formica, Chief Environmental Council, National Pork Producers Council from a video discussion on Platts Energy titled “The Ethanol Debate” from August 19, 2012.


Links to the Platts Energy Videos are here:

5. The Story of Honey from the Honeybee to the Table.

Honey is useful in children as a cough suppressant and it also has anti-microbial properties. The pediatrician in this video gives advice on dosages. A chef describes how he uses honey in his cooking. There are 300 varieties of honey produced in the U.S. Check the ingredients on your honey jar and there should only be one ingredient, “honey”.

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