Crop Harvest Down – Historic Cold Dump Montana – Winter Early

Well, looks like the long awaited drop into the Cold Half Cycle is here at last.

I’d figured it for 2018, but was off a year. There’s an 18 year delay between when the tropical Pacific changes temperature and that water reaches the Bering Strait and enters the Arctic. At the peak temps in 2000, I said to watch 2018. OK “off by one” errors are common in computer programming ;-)

Now we’ve had an historic cold dump with FEET of snow in Montana and snow from California, across the Pacific Northwest and into many of the mountain States. Winter is here. That’s a very Bad Thing as due to a wet late planting, many areas need until middle or late October to mature their corn and soybean crops, then a bit beyond that to plant fall and winter crops (radishes, turnips, winter wheat, rye,…)

Having both a late spring and an early winter frost / snow turns 2 crop / year areas into 1 crop areas. Farmers need to start looking more closely at cold climate crops (barley, oats) and fast cycle crops (buckwheat) as this trend continues (and potentially intensifies).

How bad is it? Here’s the present top posts from

Nevada – Winnemucca snowfall breaks 142-year-old record
October 1, 2019 by Robert
Since at least 1877, maybe longer.

Montana Governor Declares Emergency
September 30, 2019 by Robert
This comes from the Sacramento Bee of all places.

Record-Smashing September Snowstorm Dumps Up to 4 Feet of Snow on Montana
September 30, 2019 by Robert
Historic September snowstorm and record cold.

Record snowfall in Spokane
September 29, 2019 by Robert
First measurable snowfall on Sept. 28 in at least 138 years, maybe a lot longer.

Montana – More than a foot of snow so far – LOTS more on the way
September 29, 2019 by Robert
Forecasters warned on Sunday that the early-season wintry blast (it’s still September!) will drop several additional feet of snow in parts of the region, creating potentially life-threatening situations.

Temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below average across much of Northwest
September 29, 2019 by Robert
“Many daily record low maximum temperature records are possible through Monday, especially across the Northern Great Basin/Rockies, and Northern California,” according to the NWS.

Now snowing in 8 states and 5 provinces – In September
September 29, 2019 by Robert
This will be a “Major To Historic Winter Storm in the northern Rockies,” warns the National Weather Service.

Yeah, it’s that bad. Here’s a link to the top one of those stories and then you can scroll back through the list as desired:

Nevada – Winnemucca snowfall breaks 142-year-old record
October 1, 2019 by Robert
Since at least 1877, maybe longer.

According to the National Weather Service, the .8 inch (20 mm) of snow recorded at Winnemucca Airport on Sunday, September 29, was the first snowfall in Winnemucca on that date since records-keeping began in 1877.

Thanks to Jack Hydrazine for this link

First snow that date EVER recorded

Global warming my bare bottom.

In earlier postings, we’d put up videos from Yanasa Ama Ranch saying that the crop estimates were too high and pointing out the risks / problems of a probable early winter. Well, it’s here, and USDA is cutting harvest estimates. Actual harvest Bu/acre are down too. From 30 bu/ac to one place 100 bu/acre low. 119 vs 219 last year IIRC the numbers he said.

We are importing corn from Brazil…

These folks have a “few free” banner, so I’ll be quoting much more heavily than usual so folks don’t get burned by a lock out:

As the video below also points out, much of this is going to Smithfield pork producers who have been bought by the Chinese.

U.S. imports corn from Brazil

09.30.2019By Holly Demaree-Saddler

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — Brazil exported 60,000 tonnes of corn to the United States, according to Refinitiv data. The shipment is rare since the United States is the world’s largest corn producer and currently exports between 10% to 20% of its annual production, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report.

“The sources said U.S. demand for Brazil’s corn has been driven by fears of crop failure in North America, as U.S. farmers dealt with climate issues in the beginning of the planting season,” Reuters said.

Corn previously was shipped from Brazil to the United States via NovaAgri SA to Smithfiled Foods on Sept. 3 totaling 60,000 tonnes, Reuters noted.

The USDA noted a trend of Brazil emerging as the largest U.S. competitor in the global corn market. A change in export seasonality could alter the seasonality of corn prices, further weakening corn prices at harvest eroding U.S. market share, the USDA said.

Another shipment transporting 52,400 tonnes of corn is expected to arrive in the United States on Oct. 17, Reuters said.

So tell me again why we are burning 1/3 of our corn crop in engines instead of using it for feed? Then importing Brazilian corn for feed?

This will become an increasingly difficult problem as the turn to cold and shorter wetter seasons intensifies.

There’s a lot of weather graphs, charts, corn and soy price numbers and more visuals in this video, so the audio is nice but even just the graphics makes the case.

I do once again remind folks that for a few $hundred you can have a nice buffer stock of food that will keep for years, and makes a nice addition to your regular meals anyway. It is very satisfying to be able to look at a price spike in the grocery store and just say to yourself “Not today. I’ve got lots in the pantry I can use.”

Even if all you do is buy double the normal canned goods in any given week, and stack them as a “table” with a bit of wood and table cloth over the top, it is a lot better than nothing.

No, I don’t think this is going to be an EOTWAWKI moment. Yes, I do think there will be some “surprise” price hikes and stock outages as folks “re-adjust” to the new reality.

Why “no worries”? Well, with the stroke of a pen (and being the worlds largest oil producer) we can eliminate that 30% of corn going into gas tanks and make it be food again. Then, there’s “feed conversion efficiency ratio”. One pound of soybeans or corn can feed a person for a day or two. (Yes, I know, it’s “field corn” not sweet corn, but you CAN make tortillas out of field corn) That same pound of corn will turn into 1/10 pound of beef. 1.6 ounces of beef is an hors d’oeuvre… For pigs and chicken it is a 3:1 ratio instead of 10:1. So you would get about 1/3 lb of chicken from your pound of corn. That’s one meal, not calories for a day or two. So if it got really desperate, you eat the cows and chickens and pigs AND then eat what you would have fed them.

I can’t see us getting anywhere near that level. But for places like the Middle East or Asia, if they have similar problems, they are already eating the grains themselves… So watch places like China, South East Asia, etc. for signs of food distress. It will show there long before here.

FWIW, I remember in the late ’70s and into the ’80s folks talking about planting corn further north than “ever before”, and watched the “corn belt” move into Illinois and even up to the edge of the Dakotas. That was the 30 year warming 1/2 cycle. Now they did grow crops before the corn invasion, just not much corn. So as soon as the farmers figure out corn isn’t going to cut it, they can just as simply swap back to cold climate crops. Buckwheat, barley and oats are all tasty and make good animal feed too. The biggest problem will the the “surprise” when the slow learners wait for repeated crop failures before they catch a clue that this is the cold 1/2 cycle returning.

On the spread north in expanding warm, they were still having successful regular crops. The conversion risk was just planting a small experimental corn block. Now it will be failure of the main crop area and a need to rapidly get back to “catch crop” and cold season varieties (with which many younger farmers will have no experience… So go talk to Grampa about The Old Days.) Hopefully they will start the transition sooner than later.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in AGW and Weather News Events, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food, Global Cooling, News Related, Plants - Seeds - Gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Crop Harvest Down – Historic Cold Dump Montana – Winter Early

  1. tom0mason says:

    I wonder if people (the majority of the population in Westernized world) understand now why the UN-IPCC dates of 2020 and 2030 are so significant.
    It is so that your are legally tied to many stupid laws, laws that will ensure destruction and will kill so many people.
    That is what the ‘Climate Crisis™) is all about.
    Or are they(the majority of the population in Westernized world) going sheeple like to be the authors of their own demise, allowing these hoodlums of the UN and their crony capitalist, these wannabe elites remove their rights, money, food, heating, water, medical facilities, etc. ?

  2. cdquarles says:

    Here, though, we are under the big high that’s semi-stationary, thus warmer than average. This is the dry season, so limited rain is not much of a worry, yet. (I know, the drought indices all use current month/week/day rainfall amount compared to the average for the month/week/day; so keep that in mind.)

  3. Ossqss says:

    Hummmmm, I wonder “How much do people actually take for granted”.

    Think about that for a second….
    -No taco Tuesday at the club!
    -No Direct TV Sunday Ticket!
    –No Busch Light!!!

    I gotta stop there. I am getting NBLS (No Busch Light Syndrone).

    Oh the Pain! ;-)

  4. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – Want me to bootleg a case of Busch Light when I come down? They’ll never suspect a retired couple with two dogs and a cat.
    I gave a couple of anecdotal reports on planting in my area earlier this year. The beans are about ready to harvest and they are not quite as robust as last year. The drowned areas recovered somewhat, but they’ll probably get only 20% or so from those patches and yields on the other areas will be down 20% (just spit-balling numbers there). Nothing horrid, but Christmas might be a little slim unless they collect on the higher prices.

    I’ll have to make a trip past those couple of corn fields that got planted and see if they got any yield at all. They weren’t looking very good in July. They were in the ground, but very late and the stalks were very short for July.

  5. H.R. says:

    Wait up… I don’t think the revenoors suspect anybody of bootlegging Busch Light.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    So does anyone else see this as a push for commercial industrial indoor farming where the public is totally dependent on a limited source of food? Anyone who had total control over the industrial indoor grow operations would own the entire food production chain. They could force up prices any time they wanted to by just turning off the lights in the grow houses.

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    Very reminiscent of the tractorcades during the oil embargo and into Jimmy Carter’s administration as well.

  8. Power Grab says:

    @ EM re: “OK ‘off by one’ errors are common in computer programming ;-)”

    As Maxwell Smart used to say, “Missed it by THAT MUCH…”

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    There is no need to smuggle Busch Light. Why? Because it isn’t beer! ;-)

    @PowerGrab: 8-)

    @Larry L:

    The key limitation is that nobody owns all the grow houses, nor can thay. There just aren’t any real barriers to entry. Now if you owned The Grid…. Nationaluze much?

    For the foreseeable future, things like grains, dry beans, and other field crops are cheapest from dirt.

  10. spetzer86 says:

    China already has a food crisis with the African Swine Flu (ASF) outbreak now spreading into most of SE Asia. That’s over half the world’s hogs that are at risk and several billion people were planning on stir frying those piggies. We may not know how bad it really is until some company begins quietly shipping the other half of the world’s swine to China.

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    Good point. Especially since China bought the largest swine processor in the USA, Smithfield, and is importing Brazilian corn to feed hogs… Wonder if the USA is about to see a short fall in pork in the stores while exports reach record levels?… Hmmmm…..

    Now if they are doing the same thing in South America and Africa…

    Oh, and also remember that the Army Worm (I think it was) has also been destroying the Corn crop in China… So they are short of both pigs and corn. They announced they were not going to buy any more US Ag. products… then a few weeks of trying to find some anywhere else announced an “exception” for pork and corn. I’m pretty sure if they could get it anywhere else, they would have.

    Didn’t know the swine flu was uncontained and spreading. That’s bad news.

    While pork is not my favorite meat (lamb is…) and there are lots of folks with religious barriers to it (so I guess the flu will stop at the Middle East / Pakistan ;-) it has the virtue of a 3:1 feed conversion ratio matching chickens. The only thing with a higher ratio is fish at 1:1 (you can, with care, get to 0.9 : 1 where 9/10 kilo of food gives 1 kg of fish; but that isn’t magic. The food is “dry” and the fish is “wet” and about 85% water, so you are really turning 0.9 kg dry food into about 0.15 kg dry fish…)

    Basically, pigs and chicken are important to cheap meat for folks in the poor parts of the world. Knock out pigs, that’s harsh. They also eat a lot of stuff (especially in crude 3rd world type places) that is not suited for feed for much of anything else. The details are a bit gross though…. (Like the “pig toilet”) so it isn’t like you can use their “feed” for anything else in many places. In the USA they are no longer the “garbage disposal” so for us, the corn and soybeans can be diverted.

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    My Bad. I underestimated Smithfield. It’s the largest IN THE WORLD.

    From the Wiki:

    Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world. In addition to owning over 500 farms in the US, Smithfield contracts with another 2,000 independent farms around the country to grow Smithfield’s pigs. Outside the US, the company has facilities in Mexico, Poland, Romania, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Globally the company employed 50,200 in 2016 and reported an annual revenue of $14 billion. Its 973,000-square-foot meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was said in 2000 to be the world’s largest, processing 32,000 pigs a day.

    Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion, more than its market value. It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company to date. The acquisition of Smithfield’s 146,000 acres of land made WH Group, headquartered in Luohe, Henan province, one of the largest overseas owners of American farmland.

    So looks like China can pull in pork from all over the world already…

  13. jim2 says:

    There should be a law that anyone who suggests we eat insects instead of pork and beef be forced to open and run a restaurant that serves only insects and veggies.

  14. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m fairly certain they are doing that just to Virtue Signal and goad people. As long as there are fish and aquaculture, you can have fish protein at some of the highest feed conversion ratios in the world and with the best nutritional mix. (i.e. no indigestible chitin) so there’s just no point to eating bugs.

    “Salmon or mealy worms… not a hard choice.”

  15. jim2 says:

    EM – I wouldn’t be so sure these idiots aren’t serious about eating insects. Look at all the other cockamamie “ideas” and “innovations” they have come up with – solar panels and windmills certainly aren’t virtue signalling. They are putting real money that could serve a useful purpose to waste. Any time the government wastes money or spends more due to regulations, our standard of living goes down, relatively to the absence of such.

  16. u.k.(us) says:

    Call me a skeptic…but where are the reports from the trenches (farmers), and all the video, everybody has a camera.

  17. Steven Fraser says:

    On snow, not crops…. No video, but my brother in Woodinville WA (North of Seattle) reported Sleet in his yard the day the storm passed over. Sleet in September in metro Seattle. How about that?

    Oh, and the 4′ (or more) dump on Glacier National Park. IMO, the Universe has a perverse sense of humor: when it comes to people celebrating the ‘passing’ of a glacier, they get dumped on shortly thereafter, in a sort-of… uh, NOPE!

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    So I get complaints for too many videos, and then I get complaints for not enough videos… OK, here’s some videos:

  19. Another Ian says:

    “Didn’t know the swine flu was uncontained and spreading. That’s bad news.”

    In Timor now

  20. Another Ian says:

    “Solar Minimum Is Underway, And It’s A Deep One”

    Via a comment at Jo Nova

  21. cdquarles says:

    @Another Ian,
    Influenza is one of the most mutable viruses known. It is airborne and goes through several mammalian hosts. Some of these infect humans. Some don’t. Flu mostly can’t be contained, short of killing/isolating enough hosts.

  22. Larry Ledwick says:

    On Chinese pig disease issues

  23. H.R. says:

    Somehow, ‘Pork Smuggler’ doesn’t have the same panache as ‘Rum Runner’ to me.

    That said, it is no bueno to be smuggling infected pork. That is some seriously wrong guano. Has any infected pork slipped by?

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    “Pig Ebloa”? Who knew…

    Looks like it is real and nasty. One “hopes” it doesn’t mutate and jump species….

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    Southern ocean very cold

  26. H.R. says:

    Yesterday and today, they have been harvesting the bean fields around my neck of the woods. Just around my neighborhood, the fields total about 2,000 acres. (Not big AG… just the remains of family farms that gave up and lease to the remaining, most successful farmer in the neighborhood. There is one other family making a go of it on their own 300-400 acres.)

    I say the yield is down because the number of ‘catchers’, which are grain trucks or grain wagons pulled by tractors and which stay under the grain discharge chute, appears to be down from what I usually see. But still, it will take a week+/- to get the nearby fields harvested.

    I am so bummed. Yesterday, I had an errand that took me by one of the few plots that was planted in corn and I forgot to look. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was turning left onto a 4-lane divided highway with a 60 mph speed limit and heavy traffic. (Oh… just thought I’d mention that a Cadillac SRX has a respectable 0-60 time which makes it possible to make such a left turn ;o) Wheeeee!)

    Anyhow, beans in my region (Eastern Midwest) are OK, but not great. I don’t think corn will pull through at all. I need a less traffic-intense left turn so I can have a look to see if that’s true.

    cdquarles region has been in the same rain/temperature pattern as my region, but just a few degrees warmer since he’s further south. When he has posted on weather this year, I know exactly what he’s talking about, and whether cd picked up on it or not, he is experiencing exactly the weather I’m getting.

    Nothing we haven’t seen before, but also not typical of most years.

  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    Another well qualified scientist dismisses climate modeling as junk science due to over simplifications and faulty assumptions which have never been demonstrated to be valid.

  28. Larry Ledwick says:


    At 3.86 inches above avg, January through September 2019 (YTD) was wettest such period on record for U.S.:

    Cold front in the front range of the rockies this week

  29. H.R. says:

    Oh, today I got out to where they had planted corn and they had about 1/2 the field harvested. At least they managed to run out the clock and get the corn in. The standing corn they hadn’t harvested yet looked ‘okay’. There were plenty of ears on each stalk and they were nice-sized.

    So at least my corner of the US grain belt didn’t get totally clobbered by the weather, but it will be interesting to see what the national totals are for the year.

  30. Josh from Sedona says:

    FYI I just asked my phone and it said 40% of the corn crop goes to ethanol

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is too high, closer to 30% (keep in mind this is feed corn not corn for the table though)

    Fuel ethanol does not really have any significant impact on food availability as it uses the sort of corn that is grown as an industrial commodity for feeding cattle, and other live stock etc. and it can easily be replaced by other sources.

    Corn is just a convenient source of fermentable carbohydrate, there are other input stocks that can be used too, such as sweet sorgum, waste from molasses production, spoiled grain even waste bakery goods or stripped from discarded brewery products in beer production.

    Like whisky it is a higher value product that can be more easily shipped than the bulk corn.

    The process of producing fuel ethanol also produces co products like distillers grains, corn oil etc. The distillers grains are used to enhance life stock feed which has higher nutritional value than the raw corn you started with.

    People forget that the fermenting process is a second stage of biological production, as the yeast used in fermenting grows it adds food value to the raw corn wastes in the process of converting some carbohydrates to ethanol.

  32. Larry Ledwick says:

    Researchers from University College London are forecasting an average temperature in the UK of just 3.9ºC (39ºF) for January to February in what is expected to be “the coldest weather in 30 years.”

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    Also note the early snow in the West and the predicting for a cold early Canada Express over much of the Midwest long before the crops are all in. It looks like the Grand Solar Minimum impact on crops is already starting.

    Later planting in spring, earlier frost date in fall, failure to plant winter crops as you didn’t get the harvest in in time before the snows… That’s what is shaping up for a large part of the American North and Midwest.

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