This Environmental Health News article discusses how soggy springs and scorching summers are taking a toll on US staple crops. As a changing climate continues to increase average temperatures in the US, researchers estimate yield losses that could cost billions.
The United States just experienced its wettest 12 months on record. An onslaught of rain in the Midwest and Great Plains has made it difficult for farmers to plant crops like corn and soybeans, which need to be planted before the weather gets hotter and drier during the summer. Farmers have been tweeting using the hashtag #NoPlant19 to show the effects of catastrophic rain.
With fewer crops planted by summertime, farmers are facing smaller crop yields this year. The USDA recently cut their estimate of this year’s planted corn area to 89.8 million acres, 3 million acres fewer than March’s estimate. Yield estimates are rarely cut this early in the growing season.