These three photos show us how the Chinese are working to try to prevent the spread of the Maowusu Desert.
In this first photo, Chinese workers sow seeds in hay grids to prevent sand from floating with the wind at the edge of the expanding Maowusu Desert in Baijitan Conservation Area on July 22, 2014 near Lingwu, China.
China has 2.64 million square kilometers of land eaten up by desertification, accounting for 27 percent of its land territory. Direct economic losses are estimated at 120 billion RMB yuan (US$ 19 billion) a year.
The next photo shows hay being transported on a tractor, to be used for preventing desertification at the edge of the expanding Maowusu Desert in Baijitan Conservation Area on July 22, 2014 near Lingwu, China.
The third photo shows an individual working in the hay grids.
The photos are by Hong Wu/Getty Images.
This graph will show you what rising incomes and more meat consumption in China mean for the U.S. agricultural export market.
China’s demand for imported grains, much of it from the United States, has surged recently, with imports of cereal grains rising to 16 million tons in 2012 and 18 million in 2013. Imports in 2013 included 3 million tons of corn and 4 million tons of DDGS (distillers dried grains with solubles; a co-product of U.S. corn ethanol production used for feed) from the United States.
In 2013, the United States supplied 70 percent of China’s wheat imports and, for the first time, China became a major market for U.S. sorghum. China’s demand for feed grains appears to have reached a turning point, as a tightening labor supply and rising feed costs force structural change in China’s livestock sector.
Labor scarcity, animal disease pressures, and rising living standards are prompting rural households to abandon “backyard” livestock production and shift more production to specialized farm enterprises that rely more heavily on commercial feed. Because of this, China has switched from being a corn exporter to importing 3-5 million tons annually since 2009.
Rising feed demand has also pushed up costs and motivated feed mills and livestock producers to explore new feed ingredients like DDGS and sorghum.
The photo below shows the Xinjiang Kazak Herdsmen’s Annual Summer Migration.
ALTAY, CHINA – JUNE 08: A Kazak herdsman rides horse with his son during the migration on June 8, 2014 in Altay, China. The Kazak herdsmen move all their property almost 1000km long from winter migration to summer migration in the gobi desert of Xinjiang province. (Photo by Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images)
The FlickrCC photographer, James Wheeler, said this about his photograph:
Took this photo in southern Yunnan, China, in a small town just before the Burma border crossing. The electricity was unreliable and the town was missing many of the “comforts” of development, like indoor plumbing and refrigeration. They lived a simple life raising their crops and tending to livestock, much as they have for hundreds of years. (May 2007)
Dongtou Fishing houses.
Photos by Jan-Christian Teller @ FlickrCC. August 20, 2011.
“Going over the main bridge leading to Dongtou’s largest town, many of these fishing houses/farms scatter the harbor.”
NOTE TO READERS
Starting today, this site plans to live up to its name a bit more, that is, I will be using more pictures to tell the story of agriculture and food production on our Gaia planet during this Anthropocene age. We are vigilant witnesses. As always, comments welcome. Hope you are all enjoying your summer.