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Old 11-27-2012, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,194 posts, read 20,727,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohazco View Post
Which explains the growth in Burlington, Wray, and Yuma.
Very young demographics and profligate water mining of the aquifer for agriculture. Water mining is not even remotely sustainable in an area that gets such little precipitation and warmer average temperatures mean greater levels of evaporation of moisture out of the soil.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Burlington, Colorado
332 posts, read 322,956 times
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Many growing towns are based on industries that are not sustainable forever, be it oil, water, rubber, that doesn't mean they aren't growing. Thats beside the point when your reason that many western Kansas towns are losing population is your same reason that some towns are growing.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:14 PM
 
2,740 posts, read 5,610,023 times
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I think it was implied that GS was referring to long term sustainability vs exploitation of limited resources for short-term growth.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Burlington, Colorado
332 posts, read 322,956 times
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No I got that part too, but if that was the reason for the growth, than Goodland, Colby, Sharon Springs, etc, would be in the same boat. There is more to it than that. There are fewer acres under irrigation than ever before. Dryland is approaching 100 bu/ac. Even if it were the case, short term growth on mining does not mean no long term growth. Many towns were built on mining, oil, rubber, even steel and auto manufacturing and continued past those industries, many did not. Same with towns here. But everyone knows GS hates the western plains so he will never see that. He uses the same reason to explain population decline as he uses for growth for goodness sake.

Last edited by ohazco; 11-27-2012 at 09:29 PM..
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,194 posts, read 20,727,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohazco View Post
Many growing towns are based on industries that are not sustainable forever, be it oil, water, rubber, that doesn't mean they aren't growing. Thats beside the point when your reason that many western Kansas towns are losing population is your same reason that some towns are growing.
Well, that is an apples to oranges comparison. Water is the most important natural resource, and that is why it should not be mined to grow moisture hungry crops in a semi-arid climate. It is idiocy if the area is going to sustain itself 50-100 years from now. Unfortunately, the entire economic model or a big chunk of it in southwest Kansas is based on big commercial ag, feedlots, and packing plants. Overpumping of the aquifer is a well known issue and it is only now starting to be seriously addressed in terms of extensive water conservation and limited allocations. A warmer climate will be a huge problem for any kind of agriculture in the High Plains. I don't think the future looks very good as the raw numbers suggest that the agricultural belt is shifting north where more favorable growing conditions are becoming the norm, even in southern Canada. The number of acres planted there is going through the roof due to the much warmer climate there now.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,194 posts, read 20,727,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohazco View Post
No I got that part too, but if that was the reason for the growth, than Goodland, Colby, Sharon Springs, etc, would be in the same boat. There are fewer acres under irrigation than ever before. Dryland is approaching 100 bu/ac. There is more to it than that, but everyone knows GS hates the western plains so he will never see that. He uses the same reason to explain population decline as he uses for growth for goodness sake.
Yield is 100bu/ac under what type of growing conditions?
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?CO,HP
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?KS,HP

Many areas have been under extreme and exceptional drought off and on for a long strech of time. A reporting station in Graham County, KS hit 126F this summer. Temperatures that hot mean no crops, grass doesn't grow, no feed for cattle, etc. Irrigation is a pointless endeavor with temperatures going as high as they are during many periods of the growing season. How exactly does this lead to population growth? Any growth would be demographics only at that point. Land prices are going higher and ranch/farm size is still increasing in total acres. The only other counties in western Kansas that are growing are in the southwest and the reasons for that "increase" have already been discussed...
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:11 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
3,977 posts, read 2,134,556 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Yield is 100bu/ac under what type of growing conditions?
State Drought Monitor
State Drought Monitor

Many areas have been under extreme and exceptional drought off and on for a long strech of time. A reporting station in Graham County, KS hit 126F this summer. Temperatures that hot mean no crops, grass doesn't grow, no feed for cattle, etc. Irrigation is a pointless endeavor with temperatures going as high as they are during many periods of the growing season. How exactly does this lead to population growth? Any growth would be demographics only at that point. Land prices are going higher and ranch/farm size is still increasing in total acres. The only other counties in western Kansas that are growing are in the southwest and the reasons for that "increase" have already been discussed...
Droughts come and go, GS. Why you cling to this "climate change" doomsday viewpoint is beyond me.

From the link you posted, you only have to go back to May 8th of this year to see a mostly white Kansas map. This drought will end as quickly as it came.

California had a severe drought in '76-'77 and by late '77 the doomsayers were insisting we had a permanent water crisis and that we'd never again have enough water. Early '78 brought monster storm after monster storm, filling all of the the reservoirs to overflowing very early in the rainy season, causing major flooding thereafter, and shutting up doomsayers who had plans in place to tow icebergs from the Arctic for drinking water.

That's what has always happened and what will continue to happen despite today's prevalent ideological delusion that man could have any effect on the climate even if he wanted to.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI Metro Area
15,194 posts, read 20,727,374 times
Reputation: 7664
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrownVic95 View Post
Droughts come and go, GS. Why you cling to this "climate change" doomsday viewpoint is beyond me.

From the link you posted, you only have to go back to May 8th of this year to see a mostly white Kansas map. This drought will end as quickly as it came.

California had a severe drought in '76-'77 and by late '77 the doomsayers were insisting we had a permanent water crisis and that we'd never again have enough water. Early '78 brought monster storm after monster storm, filling all of the the reservoirs to overflowing very early in the rainy season, causing major flooding thereafter, and shutting up doomsayers who had plans in place to tow icebergs from the Arctic for drinking water.

That's what has always happened and what will continue to happen despite today's prevalent ideological delusion that man could have any effect on the climate even if he wanted to.
Ya, go ask people on the Texas forum about drought and frequency and you will get detailed replies from people who have lived there for generations.
Drought becomes more common when temperatures are well above the average. That has been the norm in the region for quite some time. I can easily find data to support that. The climate is getting MUCH WARMER and the evidence clearly lies in the fact that corn is being planted with high yields further north in Canada as they have a much longer growing season now compared to 20-30 years ago. The northern tier states had a record ag yield while states further south were much worse off. This is a sign of things to come given that average temperatures are increasing. The fact that profligate water mining has continued for as long as it has in the High Plains is a disgrace and just shows what an extreme profit mentality vs conservation exists when big commercial ag runs the show.

Last edited by GraniteStater; 11-28-2012 at 07:46 PM..
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:55 PM
 
Location: southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas
2,133 posts, read 2,855,838 times
Reputation: 1497
Apparently something magical happens when you cross the state line...
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:19 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
2,671 posts, read 3,719,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohazco View Post
No I got that part too, but if that was the reason for the growth, than Goodland, Colby, Sharon Springs, etc, would be in the same boat. There is more to it than that. There are fewer acres under irrigation than ever before. Dryland is approaching 100 bu/ac. Even if it were the case, short term growth on mining does not mean no long term growth. Many towns were built on mining, oil, rubber, even steel and auto manufacturing and continued past those industries, many did not. Same with towns here. But everyone knows GS hates the western plains so he will never see that. He uses the same reason to explain population decline as he uses for growth for goodness sake.
Granite Stater has it right on water usage in Western Kansas however. My family farm is in Cheyenne County. Our Dryland Summer Fallow wheat yield per acre has been as high as 99.6 BU/Acre and IIRC correctly the low in the past thirty years was still 30? BU/acre. When my Dad was farming in the 1940s to late 1960s a fifty BU/Acre yield was phenomenal.

I hate to think how many billions of gallons of underground water have been used to irrigate crops like corn in the past fifty years. Ethanol has made it profitable to irrigate corn in the past few years. However before Ethanol inflated the demand for Corn I remember when it was cheaper to BURN corn in a Pellet stove than selling it on the open market ($1.50/Bushel.

GL2
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