The Stream, May 4: Drought Stunts Crop Development Across America’s Bread Basket

The Global Rundown

Crops in Kansas and neighboring states are developing slower than usual as drought grips America’s farmland. Indonesia’s toxic Citarum River sickens children and kills wildlife. Kenyan pastoralists begin raising goats, sheep, and camels as drought destroys cattle herds. A persistent dry spell cripples Brazil’s second harvest of corn. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan to meet with four American Indian tribes to discuss the environmental impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“My main concern is the stage of crop development is so far behind.” –Dennis Haugen, a director of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association, in reference to stunted crops across the drought-stricken United States. A recent wheat tour in Kansas showed lackluster growth among wheat and other crops. Bloomberg

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By The Numbers

48 Number of cows that herder David Ole Maapia nearly lost last year amid devastating drought in Kenya. Fearing the death of their herds, Ole Maapia and other Maasai pastoralists are selling cattle and buying drought-hardy animals such as goats, sheep, and camels. Reuters

36 percent Amount that Brazilian corn prices have increased compared to the same month last year. An ongoing dry spell is parching the country’s second harvest of corn, raising concern over a shortfall in supply. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

101 East, a weekly broadcast by Al Jazeera, explores the toxic state of Indonesia’s Citarum River and the human cost of a proposed clean-up effort. The Citarum is the dumping ground for several of the world’s major textile factories. The heavily-contaminated river, which provides drinking, cooking, and irrigation water for millions, is killing wildlife and poisoning the people who rely on it. Al Jazeera

On The Radar

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intends to meet with the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Yankton and Oglala Sioux tribes at the end of the month to discuss environmental impacts of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The developer of the pipeline claims that the project meets all environmental requirements, but the tribes fear the pipeline will harm their water, land, and culture. The New York Times

In context: At Standing Rock – Water, history, and finance converge as Sioux Nation mounts storied battle over Dakota Access pipeline.

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