Western States Crisis—California Town Runs Dry; Warren Buffett's RR Says F*** You to Farmers and Eaters
April 26, 2014 • 12:44PM

The daily updates from the crisis-stricken Western states make the point, that Obama must be impeached immediately. Among the recent developments:

TRANSPORTATION CHAOS IN HIGH PLAINS. On Friday, the BNSF RR (Burlington Northern), owned by Obama-backer Warren Buffett, is to file its first report, on how much fertilizer it has shipped to the Northern High Plains over the past week, given the extreme shortage of it in this grainbelt, caused by the BNSF itself, hauling oil and inputs for the Fracking Boom, and displacing other cargo.

On April 15, the Federal Surface Transportation Board issued a directive to the BNSF and Canadian Pacific, which serve this region, and run the oil trains, to "ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for Spring planting of U.S. crops."

Farm groups in the region are furious at the situation, pointing out the "Catch 22" involved, namely that BNSF says it will lay-on cars and trains for fertilizer, but meantime, BNSF is still weeks behind in supplying cars and trains for shipping out last year's harvest (wheat, corn, beans, sugar)! The bins are overflowing. BSNF also said a month ago, that it cannot pre-position rail cars this year, for the 2014 wheat harvest when it comes on. Warren Buffett says to eaters and farmers: F*** You!

This deliberate policy, combined with the drought, guarantees devastation.

See LPAC's featured drought package.

CALIFORNIA. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map (as of April 22) highlights the continuing growing intensity of the Southwest drought, especially in California and Texas. For the first time in the history of the Drought Monitor, 100% of California is now experiencing moderate to exceptional drought, with 77% of the state in extreme or exceptional drought, the two most severe categories.


April 22, 2014 California Drought Monitor.

Since the April 1 announcement of the annual snowpack survey in the Sierra Nevadas, which found that it contained only 33% of the average amount of moisture usually there at this time of year, that snowpack has been further dramatically reduced by temperatures in the mountains that have been as much as 12 degrees above normal. So the river and stream flow required for the summer is already being used or flowing to the ocean unused.

Several small cities in the past week have declared drought emergencies, announcing that they will exhaust all water supplies in the next few months. The latest is Cambria, a small town on the coast that has no access to any of the state's water delivery systems.

Earlier this year, water deliveries for 2014 were set at zero by both the State Water Project (supplying 24 million people and agriculture districts) as well as the Federal Bureau of Reclamation's program. This week, the State Water Project said they will change it, and commit to delivering 5% of contracted water, but only beginning on Sept. 1—after the prime farming season is past! This came about after a small amount of rain fell in February and March, and farmers and a few politicals screamed for release of some water from the projects.

Of the nearly 9 million agriculture acres irrigated in the state, fully 3 million will get no water deliveries this year.

Unplanted acres, and lowered yields on inadequately watered crops, will bring down California's output drastically. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast a 20 percent decline in California's rice crop and a 35 percent decline in this year's cotton crop, compared to last year. The corn crop is expected to be 28% smaller, and wheat to be down 15%. The decrease in fresh fruits and vegetables will be even worse.

Prices are spiking within the agriculture system. Hay prices as of two weeks ago were at $330 per ton, up from $280 per ton in February, and some forecast it may hit $400 per ton this season. With milk prices at record levels, California dairymen are attempting to increase their output, to make up for past losses, but this only adds to the hay hyperinflation. California milk production in February was 5.3% higher than February, 2013. There is acute pressure to find fodder; prices are skyrocketing for livestock feed.