Iraqis want water from Turkey as Baghdad bans farming summer crops amid drought

MISHKHAB – Associated Press Iraq has banned its farmers from planting summer crops this year as the country grapples with a crippling water shortage that shows few signs of abating.
Citing high temperatures and insufficient rains, Dhafer Abdalla, an adviser to Iraq’s Ministry of Water Resources, told The Associated Press that the country has only enough water to irrigate half its farmland this summer.
But farmers fault the government for failing to modernize how it manages water and irrigation, and they blame neighboring Turkey for stopping up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers behind dams it wants to keep building.
Water levels across these two vital rivers – which together give Iraq its ancient name, Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers – fell by over 60 percent in two decades, according to a 2012 report by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
Iraq’s Natural Resources Ministry protests it does not have the budget to do that.
In one instance, they forced the closure of a levee along a branch of the Euphrates River to let the water levels rise for irrigation.
But Agriculture Ministry spokesman Hameed al-Naief told the AP that only 5,000 dunams (1,236 acres) of irrigated land could be allocated to the crop this summer, less than 3 percent of the area permitted last year.
About 70 percent of Iraq’s water supplies flow in from upstream countries.
Iraq’s Water Resources Ministry says it has enough water behind the Mosul Dam to guarantee adequate flow for a year, but experts say the Ilisu could take up to three years to fill, depending on rains.
The last moratorium on farming rice came in 2009, but that year farmers were permitted to grow other crops to shore up their income.

Rite Aid deals 6/25: M&M’s, bottled water, Xtra

Rite Aid deals 6/25: M&M’s, bottled water, Xtra.
Gift Card Offers Earn 500 Plenti points when you buy $50 worth of Lowe’s Home Improvement gift cards, limit 2 offers Earn 1000 Plenti points when you buy $25 worth of Domino’s or Subway gift cards, limit 2 Food Arizona drinks, 20 – 23 oz, select, 2 for $1 Kellogg’s cereal, Pop Tarts or Post Cereal select Sale: $1.97 Coupons: $1/2 Kellogg’s coupon from 6/25 RP, $1/1 Kellogg’s coupons from when you redeem 850 reward points and various $3/5, .50/1 and $1/2 coupons in the Coupons tab at, $1/3 coupon from 6/4 RP, $1/2 Post cereal coupons from Smart Shopper coupons link and M&M’s 8 – 10.7 oz, $2.99 – $1/1 coupon in 6/25 RP = $1.99 Big Win purified water bottles, 2 for $5 – 100 Plenti points when you buy 2, limit 2 offers = 2 for $4 after reward Doritos, Lay’s, Cheez-It crackers, BOGO – $1/1 Cheez-Its coupon from when you redeem 850 reward points Non-Food Sure or Brut deodorant, select, $1.99 – $1 coupon possibly in 6/25 SS = .99 Niagra starch spray, 20 oz, .99 Garnier Whole Blends shampoo or conditioner, 12.5 oz Sale 2 for $7 (or $3.99 each) Coupon: $2 coupon from 6/25 RP Total after 2 coupon = 2 for $3 Xtra laundry detergent, 68.75 – 75 oz, $1.99 Tugaboos big pack boxed diapers, 2 for $25 – 500 Plenti points when you buy 2, limit 2 offers Duracell batteries, select, 1 – 8 packs, BOGO – $1 coupon from 6/4 SS Summer housewares, garden products, tools, toys, furniture, coolers, etc, select, 50% off Rite Aid Coupon and Reward Policy Basics: Coupon limits: Rite Aid will accept up to 4 identical coupons for the same number of qualifying products as long as there is sufficient stock.
You cannot use a coupon on each item in a BOGO sale.
Because of the Rite Aid BOGO policy, CVS often has the better deal on BOGO sales because you can use a coupon on BOTH items when they have BOGO sales (and you cannot at Rite Aid).
See more details at
You must have a Wellness+ rewards card to earn rewards and get the sale prices.
Plenti Rewards Program: Rite Aid joined the national rewards program called Plenti in May 2015.
With this program, you are able to earn points at one store and use the points at any of the participating brands or the Plenti online offer center.
The participating brands will be linked by a single reward card.
200 in Plenti points get you at least $2 in savings at Rite Aid.

Kenya Left With Less Than Day’s Worth of Corn After Drought

Reserves slump after 36,000 tons released to grain millers Kenya had insufficient rains in crop-growing regions this year Kenya’s reserves of corn dropped to less than a day’s worth of consumption after stocks of the staple grain were released to millers, the National Cereals and Produce Board said.
The board released about 36,000 tons to millers last week, he said.
The NCPB is awaiting information from the Agriculture Ministry about how the reserve will be restocked, Terer said, declining to comment further.
Most weather stations reported receiving less than 75 percent of their seasonal long-term average, it said.
“The depressed rainfall over most agricultural areas in the country has resulted in poor crop performance and even crop failure in some regions,” it said.
Of that, about 135,000 tons is packaged and sold by millers, CMA Chairman Nick Hutchinson said in an interview on Tuesday.
Reserve corn sold to CMA members for 3,000 shillings ($29) per 90-kilogram bag was enough for only 8-12 days and insufficient to drive retail prices down, the industry body said last week.
Millers are now forced to buy from the market for almost 50 percent more.
While some shipments from Mexico are already at the port in Mombasa, the berthing of the first vessel will only take place on May 17 if the rainy weather permits, according to the statement.
“Do we get maize or not?”

Basic microbiology research study unexpectedly uncovers practical findings for growers

Basic microbiology research study unexpectedly uncovers practical findings for growers.
Cover cropping also has its risks, especially if dying cover crops encourage disease pressure that passes on to the next crop.
Such is the unexpected lesson behind a recent study published in Phytobiomes, a new open-access journal of The American Phytopathological Society.
In this recently-published article, titled "Isolation of Cultivation-Resistant Oomycetes, First Detected as Amplicon Sequences, from Roots of Herbicide-Terminated Winter Rye," Dr. Matthew G. Bakker and several other researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service set out to describe the microbiology of dying rye cover crop roots and how their microbial communities changed over time in a field setting.
Among the many microorganisms detected, they found that several less-known species of oomycetes, including Pythium and Lagena species, were commonly associated with cereal rye cover crops.
While this research was originally meant to be basic, the study unexpectedly turned out to have some very practical findings.
In addition to describing and validating the microbiology of these rye cover crop roots, their work revealed that the Pythium species naturally passed on to the corn plants as they sprouted into seedlings, resulting in seedling disease.
"This study tells a neat story about how new research techniques can lead to unpredictable findings with important and practical applications," said Bakker.
"Another interesting aspect of this study was that the most abundant species of Pythium in the cover crop roots was different on one side of the field than on the other.
Other benefits of this study include… An improved understanding of the microbiology of dying plants in natural and managed ecosystems The demonstrated importance of using DNA technology to help detect the microbial communities associated with crops, as microorganisms can be difficult to cultivate in the laboratory An improved understanding of the ecology of oomycetes — and of the potential for shared pathogens between cover crops and grain crops Bakker hopes this and similar work will spark more research in root-soil dynamics.