Argentina suffering water emergency after severe drought

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:41 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - While much of the western U.S., from Minnesota and the Dakotas has been in a severe drought this summer, they’re not alone. Reports out of Argentina say their government has declared a 180 day water emergency for the Parana River, one of the major transportation outlets in the country. The Parana carries about 80% of Argentina’s agricultural shipments. The river is at its lowest levels in 77 years, limiting the amount of grain that can be shipped on barges to about 75% of normal. The water emergency is affecting at least 7 of Argentina’s major growing and population provinces as huge amounts of money are being lost since this is the peak of their soybean and corn exporting season. Argentina is one of thw world’s largest suppliers of those products.

U.S. farmers are hoping the agreement between the U.S. and European Union over aircraft subsidies will hold. In March the 2 sides agreed to suspend subsidies to Boeing and Airbus for the next 5 years. That has also meant a temporary suspension of tariffs on many agricultural products on both sides of the Atlantic. U.S. products that have seen subsidies go away since the agreement was reached include tobacco, cotton, vegetables, nuts and spirits. In total, the deal has meant 11 and a half billion dollars in tariffs have gone away.

The continuing dominance of a few major companies in the meat packing industry is being met with some resistance as some folks are trying to do something about it. One of the latest attempts to offer livestock producers another market is happening in Iowa. Cattlemen’s Heritage Beef Company is planning to build a 1,500 head a day beef processing facility. The company plans to break ground on the $325 million facility in the spring of 2022. Company officials say they plan to hire 750 workers who will average over 55 thousand dollars a year in salary and for the plant to have an economic impact of over 1 billion dollars a year. It’ll be built in extreme Southwest Iowa.

The county fair season continues this weekend with 4 fairs in our area now open and running through this Sunday. That includes the Eau Claire, Buffalo, Polk and Jackson County fairs. So far this year, fair officials say attendance is up and the livestock sales have been running ahead of previous years as people are anxious to make up for what they lost last year.

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