Effect Of Early Winter On Crops

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…

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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, Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food, Global Cooling and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Effect Of Early Winter On Crops

  1. Steven Fraser says:

    Calories per gram of Olive oil: Very good, but not as rich as saturated fat.
    Get some cocoanut oil, too, medium chain triglycerides.
    Keeps a very long time on the shelf, and even longer in the freezer.
    And, do not forget Eggs.

  2. wyoskeptic says:

    Yep. Pretty good keto. There are three things that have good amounts of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) : coconut oil, butter (real butter) and thick heavy whipping cream. The odorless liquid cooking coconut oil is virtually the same thing as most much more expensive MCT Oils.

    “We did notice that a 2 day “off the diet” stint put us back in the “I’m hungry NOW” cycle.” For myself, having been on Keto for coming up on 3 years now, the longer you remain keto adapted, the less true that is. The real trick to it is to stick to it long enough the body does adapt really solid. Then adding back in some starches or even some sugar items does not have that effect unless you go heavy carb or heavy starches, etc. for some long. Right now I am not adverse to some baked potatoes (Heavy with butter and real sour cream) or some boiled spuds (ditto) or made into a good thick potato soup. Not every day, but when the hunger is there for it, it is good.

    What I have found is that the longer I am away from sugar, the less desire I have for it and in fact, less able to enjoy eating it the way I used to. An example is snickers bars. I loved them. Also milky way, caravel bars, and so on. After about six months without one (or any other such sweet things) I decided to indulge myself a bit. I got half way through a full sized bar and that was it. It was too sweet, too “cloying”, just too overwhelming.

    I also do the intermittent fasting, in my case between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. It is great and has made great changes in my health. But one thing I do stress is that a person on Keto (or going to get into it) is that drinking lots of water is necessary. Keto is very diuretic. With consuming lots of liquids, a person has to be sure and get enough electrolytes. Not just salt, but also magnesium, potassium and calcium. Early on I had a lot of hand cramps and arch of the foot cramps, especially at night before falling asleep. I go through a half gallon to 3/4 of a gallon of water a day. Easy.

    I lost weight for a time, then the loss slowed and my weight began a slow oscillation. Down to about 200 then up to about 210. Considering I had been well over 230, I am in no hurry about getting the rest of the way down to where I want. I’ve begun doing a 6 of 7 routine. On Sundays I do a nothing but water fast. So I go from about 4 p.m Sat to 9ish on Mon. I figure I get comfortable with that, then step up to a 5 of 7. Being able to fast for extended periods is the one way weight loss happens for sure. What keto does, once the body is comfortable with it, is give a person the power over hunger to do what ever else is needed. Most days I only eat one meal. It is not anything I intended, it just simply happened once I realized that I was not hungry enough to eat more often than that.

    The main thing about any Keto diet or variation is one very firm rule. No sugar. Maintain sugar intake at the most minimum possible. After that, meat, potatoes, homemade bread (made from good quality flour), pasta, rice, beans and all the rest is no dig deal. The ability of the body to flick back and forth between pure Keto and a somewhat less keto with some carbs is a good thing. It is also good if it keeps someone from deciding Keto is too hard. I’ve ran into some people who have made that statement to me. They were in it, but it got to hard, so they stopped.

    So, I say, get Keto adapted, then do not be afraid to explore the boundaries. How much starch is too much? For one person it may be just a little bit is too much, for others, they can tolerate a lot. Each person has to find what works for them and what is comfortable enough they can maintain it with out working hard at it. Men and women were eating fish, meat, lamb, bread, rice, beans, corn tortillas, pasta and all the variations for a long time before sugar came around. The problem is what consuming too much sugar for too long does to a person’s metabolism. Get that out of there, then a lot of those other foods really are not a problem. Mankind evolved able to eat a lot of different things and back in the day when what you ate was a matter of what you could find within walking distance, a lot of people survived on anything but a nicely balanced and blended diet. First you heal the body from sugar addiction, then you begin to learn what really works as far as diet items go. And you enjoy eating whatever works for you.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

  4. Steven Fraser says:

    @wyosceptic: whole milk is pretty good, too, for fat and calcium. Not the 2% or skim… they do rude things to it.

  5. 95 Kg is not too bad depends on your frame size particularly height. Maybe you should aim for 85Kg.
    I saw on a medical program someone recommended taking 4 dried prunes which have been soaked for 2 weeks in gin every night. I can not see the benefit of the gin (or the cost) but I have been trying it with the prunes soaked in red wine. Red wine is supposed to help digestion and avoid heart problems. Dieticians say dark coloured fruit and vegetables are good. Prune from dark plumes are recommended. So hopefully the prunes and red wine are both doing me good. Seems fine over the last three months.

  6. E.M.Smith says:


    The end result of my deep dive into heart issues (after Florida Friend had his surgery) was to find out it was well proven that THE root cause is a low grade Vit. C shortage. We make a special protein (lipoprotien A IIRC) that acts as a short term “patch” over leaky arteries in winter when there is no fruit or leaves rich in vit. C, then in spring / summer we are supposed to gorge on that, get the Vit. C level up (1 to 2 GRAMS a day) and fix the arteries, remove the patch material.

    Problem is, we now live on a diet grossly reduced in Vit. C and our RDA is too damn low. So like scurvy causes capillary fragility and bleeding, the low grade causes irritated and weak arteries and we do perpetual patching… until it clogs and you die.

    This was replicated in gorillas (who naturally never have heart attacks as they eat a LOT of Vit C rich leaves, but nuke the Vit C they get human type arterial and heart disease. Then, human lipoprotein A genes were added to mice and their ability to make their own Vit C was knocked out.. Result? Mice fed extra Vit C were fine, those without got heart attacks and arterial disease.

    So if you really want to help your heart and arteries, take 1 to 2 grams of Vit C per day. Everything else is largely wishful thinking.

    As for 4 dried prunes soaked in gin and “why”: Well, if the prunes swell up enough ;-)

    The red pigment in red wine is an antioxidant and helps a lot of stuff that involves inflammation. You can get the same result from most any dark red plant and purple grapes.

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    So 57 F in 12 hours? Well, obviously that’s caused by Global Warming! ;-)

    Now arn’t you glad you put those snow tires on?

  8. H.R. says:

    Too funny!

    St. Greta is heading a rally in Denver on Friday. Ya think that 57 (F) drop will affect turnout?


    No doubt St. Greta will use the temperature drop as proof of Climate Change.

  9. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now arn’t you glad you put those snow tires on?

    That incoming cold front forecast was THE reason I put them on.

    Now 20.5 degrees F and light freezing drizzle and a hint of snow (I have the day off) so can enjoy the entertainment of listening to my neighbors chip a glaze of ice off their windows.

    Now have a dusting of snow, morning rush hour will be interesting as all our recent imports discover that we do have winter in Colorado and that it will take 2-3 days to get snow tires installed because all the tire stores will be booked solid for the next week, and driving will be Very interesting.

    Winter is here !

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    View in my apartment complex as folks try to chip ice off their windshields.

  11. Larry Ledwick says:

    Boulder Colorado sets new low temp record for the date.
    Previous record = 34 degrees F on October 8, 1985.
    Current temp 26 deg F
    Low past 24 hours from NCAR foothills lab = 21.6°F @ 09:40

  12. Geoff Cruickshank says:

    Don’t know if it’s just me, but the video link to corn is coming up as a video on free speech.

  13. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, it just came up as the Yanasa Asa Farmer talking about corn for me…

  14. gallopingcamel says:

    Since Al Gore is not seen in public much these days, you don’t hear much about the “Gore Effect anymore.

    Time to mention the Thunberg Effect when snow storms follow her around? Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.

  15. Larry Ledwick says:
  16. E.M.Smith says:


    It’s about to get a whole lot wickeder. The Grand Solar Minimum is hitting and it gets colder for the next 20 to 30 years…

    @Larry L:

    Yeah, ought to have several of those in a row for a few years…

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