Norway heading for a grain disaster?

By Dag from Ringerike

The outlook for the grain farmers in the southern part of Norway looks very grim. And – the southern part of Norway is our grain basket. I guess this region of the nation grows about 80 % of the volume.

This year the spring has been delayed for about 2 to 3 weeks. Last week we had torrential rain that during two days loaded our soil with water of one and half normal precipitation for a month in southern Norway. The consistency were enormous. Our two main transport lines from southern Norway to Troendelag, through the valleys of Gudbrandsdalen and Oesterdalen, roads and railways lines were washed away. In one community, Kvam in Gudbrandsdale, several houses were destroyed by the local flood.

http://www.nrk.no/nyheter/distrikt/hedmark_og_oppland/1.11050277

This article explain the conondrum for the farmers. Because of the flood and the wet weather, they can not seed their soil. The government subsidize the grain farmers by the volume of what they produce. No production, no money from the government.

I was listening to our local broadcast, NRK Buskerud, 3 days ago, where a farmer union officials was discussing the issue. He said that only 50 to 60 percent of the fields had been seeded because of the wet conditions on the fields, and the date 6th of June would be the last day for seeding. It looks not very good because we have persistent rain and showers every day in our region.

There is a political debate about the big subsidizes from the government to our farmers. What a farmer told us in our local paper, if he got 0,5 kroner more of the end prize of a bread, that is 30 kroner, he would not need any money from the government. The reality is that it is the next part of the economic chain is taking the profit, and – the biggest subsidizers for the farmers is not the government, but the house wifes, that brings in the needed money for the household.

Our grain harvest in 2011 was a total disaster, because near 90 % became fungus infected related to the wet weather condition during harvesting in late August and early Sepember. Last year, what saved our harvest, was one week in September, when the fields dried up after persistent rain patterns during August.

The insane policy of our government, is that they abandoned the policy that Norway should have at least 2 years storage of grain, in the middle of the 9thies. It was a lesson of the ww2 years. Statens Kornforretning (our main grain supplyer at that time) was privitazed, and became a big player in the salmon business – in Chile!

Felleskjoepet, our main manager of our grain supply today, has warned several times about of our fragile grain supply system, but it looks like they are speaking against deaf ears. Our political establishment is decoupled from reality.

In this article, Christian Anton Smedshaug, Manager of the Agri business of Felleskjoepet, says that we need at least one year of grain storage. Now, we have nothing. The market shall solve the issue our politicians are saying
.
http://www.utredningskontoret.no/file=279

I anticipate that the volume of our grain harvest this year would be significant lower compared to what we harvested the years before. Due to a delayed spring, the grain harvest could be postponed to the weeks in September. So, time will tell…..what we get.

– Dag from Ringerike

Now long before people are fighting in the streets for food?  When it happens will global warming be blamed? Or, global cooling?

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Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

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