A couple of videos from Yanasa Ama Ranch that do a great job of explaining how plants grow, and how they don’t do as well when it is cold and planted late.
I saw the one on Soybeans yesterday, but today the one that focuses on corn has some great details in it. In crop growth, the details matter. The thumbnail is that the plant detects fall and speeds up maturation at the expense of yield. When you get an early frost, the plant stops making more corn and starts “finishing up” what it has already made (drying it and turning the “milk” into dry solids).
We had a late start to planting this year, so that shortened the time to grow AND moved the tail of that growth into a later period where there are shorter days and less sunlight. Sunshine is the fuel that makes the food. Less of it means less yield. This shows up especially in soybeans. Corn as a C4 plant is a little more resistant to this. In the soybean video he points out how the USDA is ignoring this and as a consequence predicting giant soybean pods, that’s just crazy talk.
So the conclusion is that with the early onset of winter (coming in several weeks early in the north west and Midwest) it is going to significantly reduce yields of corn and soybeans this year. In my opinion, this is an indicator of what is to come as we get deeper into the Grand Solar Minimum.
The corn video (that really was made after the soybean video). 20 minutes:
The soybean video (which explains where the USDA is going off the rails). 14 minutes:
So far he’s been right in his predictions and assessments. A good farmer has to be or they do not get much crop. He was calling the weather right at the start of the season and getting it right all through the year, so I’m pretty sure he’s right now.
I especially like the way the leaves are occasionally blowing past him in the corn video. Kinda shows “Fall is here” already…
Now couple that with China deciding that eating mattered more than political issues (VERY hard for a Communist Central Committee to do…) and making an exemption for buying US Corn & Pork in their retribution… season with the new Trade Deal with Japan that promises to sell a lot of US corn, wheat, and meat to Japan… sugar the top with a deal with Brazil where we are going to ship corn ethanol to Brazil (though it isn’t clear why… Brazil grows a lot of corn and makes a lot of alcohol…): The bottom line is lots of growing demand for US Ag products and decreasing supply.
I think I’m going to check the prices on corn and soybean futures…. As long as the USDA is saying bumper crops those futures are likely mis-priced…
Of course, the simple thing for Joe & Jane Sixpack to do is just lay in your supply of food now. I’ve already done an OK job of it. The major failing is just that stored meat is low just as we’ve gone to a “Fasting Mimicking Diet” based on nearly no starches. So I’ve got a LOT of stored starch heavy foods not being used (rice, beans, dry cereal, oats, noodles, peas, etc.) and only about 2 weeks worth of canned SPAM, tuna, and canned chicken. OTOH, I’m in California buying California grown chicken where there’s not likely to be much disruption. Then, if there IS a food supply problem, well, eating “Rice & Beans” becomes an OK thing to do as “obesity” is not your problem then ;-)
At this morning’s weigh-in I’m at 211 pounds. That’s down from between 230 to almost 240 when I stopped looking at the scale a year or two ago ;-) It has been surprisingly easy.
1) Cut meal times to between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM. A 7 hour window. (less is better).
2) Remove all sugar and most starch sources.
3) Mostly eat meat, non-starch vegetables (carrots, green beans, broccoli, leaves, stems etc.), fish and salads.
4) Eat all you want of those things during the open eating hours.
5) Eat all the fats & salt you want (i.e. fried foods, salted, are just dandy as is creamy salad dressing).
What was surprising is that after a few day “induction” period, the craving to eat just drops away. You enter dietary ketosis and the brain and body start to burn ketone-bodies instead of sugars. Insulin spike and drop cycles end. So, for example, right now it’s pushing 10 AM, I’ve been up since about 7 AM, and had two cups of black coffee. Not hungry at all.
As I’m approaching my goal weight, we’ve started to add back in some starches. Still on the reduction path but slightly slowing. So sushi w/ rice one day a week. Occasional peas / beans. That kind of thing. Yesterday I even made a loaf of bread (allowing starches one meal a day, preferably about noon, on some days, as a precursor to stopping the decent…)
We did notice that a 2 day “off the diet” stint put us back in the “I’m hungry NOW” cycle. Insulin ramps up and down over about 8 hours, so leaving it high more than one day gets you back into the insulin oscillation cycles. It seems like a one meal “cheat” just restores liver and muscle glycogen and doesn’t stimulate the insulin / fat storage mechanism.
I know, I know: What am I doing dumping body fat stores while saying crop yields will be down and you might need body fat stores?! Well, let’s just say I still have “enough”, OK? ;-) My guess is I’m still about 10 lbs away from ideal. That’s enough for any short emergency. For any long emergency, well, I’ve got about 20 lbs of olive oil and coconut oil on the shelf. I’m happy to store my potential “body fat” as pre-fat oils on the shelf instead ;-) IF I need them, there they are.
So on my ToDo list is basically to can up more chicken, buy more SPAM and canned hams, and tuna. (Or for folks where beef doesn’t make their joints creaky, get canned corned beef / hash). That will round out my existing large storage of starchy stuffs. No, I don’t mind that the stored foods are starch heavy. In a food shortage the last thing you want to do is stimulate weight loss…