"August 16 News: Drought Creates Toxic Feed Problem In Texas; Ranchers Struggle To Maintain Herds In Hawaii"
The worst U.S. drought in five decades has parched the land and decimated crops. It now threatens to deal a second blow to farmers, who may have to throw out tonnes of toxic feed. [Reuters]
Growers are rushing to check the nitrate levels of that silage, the stalks and leaves that corn farmers often harvest to feed to locally raised cattle or hogs.
Agriculture groups are warning farmers that drought-hit plants may have failed to process nitrogen fertilizer due to stunted growth, making them poisonous to livestock.
Exceptionally early spring planting has caused a crush of early summer requests for the tests. Farmers are also expected to chop down a near-record swathe of their fields for silage to make up for this year’s poor yields.
Extremely dry conditions in parts of Hawaii are forcing some ranchers to reduce their herds as they struggle to grow grass to feed cattle. Thirsty invasive axis deer are encroaching on crops as they seek water. [Washington Post]
China-based Suntech Power Holdings Co., the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer by output, surprised analysts by announcing that its founder would step down as chief executive, and naming a non-Chinese national who has been with the company for less than 16 months as CEO. [Wall Street Journal]
Teachers in Maryland are about to get new help and encouragement to talk about the touchy topic of global warming in their classrooms. The National Science Foundation announced Wednesday that it is awarding $5.8 million for improving climate-change education in Maryland and Delaware through a partnership including universities and school systems from both states. [Baltimore Sun]
A climate skeptic group that drew widespread criticism — and lost some corporate funding — by comparing belief in global warming to the Unabomber’s views is trying to regain momentum in its battle against carbon controls. [The Hill]
July was the fourth-warmest such month on record globally, and the 329th consecutive month with a global-average surface temperature above the 20th-century average, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). [Climate Central]
Lower temperatures and rain forecast for parts of the Midwest won’t be enough to reverse the drought that has pushed crop prices up for months. [Bloomberg]
Australia’s opposition Liberal party climate spokesman Greg Hunt on Thursday gave his “in principle” backing to signing up for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, making it easier for the under-fire government to sign the U.N. climate treaty. [Reuters]
Facing environmental and economic challenges posed by global climate change, Tanzania’s Zanzibar Island need to take steps to minimize the impact which could hinder the region’s future development, a report said Tuesday. [China.org]