Yesterday, a panel of experts including Agricultural Economist and fellow at the International Food Policy Research http://posterous.com/posts/new/193779Institute, Gerald Nelson said, “World population is expected to swell by 50 percent by 2050. This alone is a challenge for the world’s supply of vital grains. But then you have to tack on the impacts of climate change.”
Scientific American comments, “With the added environmental stresses expected of climate change, prices could instead double, according to IFPRI.”
But there is a much greater macro problem than the price of grains. Environmental stress does not narrowly just effect crop production. Shifts in the ecology that effect crops also effect insects, pesticide requirements, bacteria levels, water chemistry, and fungal species.
Shifts in the ecology that effect crops also effect insects, pesticide requirements, bacteria levels, water chemistry, and fungal species.
Infact, worrying about grain prices rising is like trying to find a Band-Aid for the two small bleeding puncture wounds on your ankle. The real problem is the rattler venom that’s permeating your body. Only two weeks earlier, the agricultural center of America announced: “Mutant grain fungus Ug99 threatens world crops, political stability.” – University of Minnesota.
Experts explain Ug99, “Puccinia graminis, is a new mutant strain of fungus that erupts from pockmarks on the stems of wheat and barley, exploding with millions of rusty red spores that can blow across continents.”
Brian Steffenson expands, “This fungus has such a tremendously explosive reproductive capacity. By way of the prevailing winds, we’re now afraid that if Ug99 gets a beachhead in the Middle East, it can spread to the breadbaskets of south Asia, Pakistan and India.
Eighty percent of the world’s wheat and 95 percent of the upper U.S. Midwest region’s top bread-baking grain is vulnerable to the new pathogen
“That,” he said, “would be absolutely devastating for the world’s wheat and economy.”
University of Minnesota wheat breeder Jim Anderson explains the scope of the danger, “Eighty percent of the world’s wheat and 95 percent of the upper U.S. Midwest region’s top bread-baking grain is vulnerable to the new pathogen.”
Anderson thinks it’s “a matter of when, rather than if” the new rust finds its way to the Red River Valley and other North American wheat fields, prompting a scramble among scientists to cross new varieties of wheat genes that can resist the scourge. – Scripps
Wait, did I just read that the scientists think that the solution is to genetically modify 95% of our agricultural produce? I think I might just start practicing eating random tree bark.