NewEnergyNews: Farmers And Climate Change

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    Thursday, October 25, 2018

    Farmers And Climate Change

    Politicians say nothing, but US farmers are increasingly terrified by it – climate change; Research forecasts Iowa corn yields could drop in half within the next half-century thanks to extreme weather – yet it’s not part of the political conversation

    Art Cullen, 19 October 2018 (UK Guardian)

    “…This year, crops in north-west Iowa are looking spotty. Up into Minnesota they were battered by spring storms and late planting, and then inundated again in late summer…Where they aren’t washed out, they’re weedy or punky…[If you go south] the corn stands tall and firm…Welcome to climate change…It’s the least debated issue of the midterm political season…[but the] weather is the top topic of conversation at any cooperative elevator’s coffee table, along with the markets. Everyone knows that things have been changing in sweeping ways out here on the richest corn ground in the world…It’s drought in the spring and floods in the fall …Everyone knows it has been getting wetter and weirder…

    [Drainage] is delivering runoff rich in farm fertilizer to the Mississippi river complex and the Gulf of Mexico, where the nitrate from Iowa and Illinois corn fields is growing a dead zone the size of New Jersey. The shrimping industry is being deprived of oxygen so Iowa farmers can chase 200 bushels of corn per acre…[H]uge rainfalls on exposed black dirt wash soil at two to three tons an acre a year. Nature can regenerate the soil at only a half-ton a year…[The University of Minnesota forecasts that] corn yields could drop in half within the next half-century because of extreme weather and soil depletion…Few politicians in the five states around here are talking about regulating agriculture in an era of warmer and wetter nights and long droughts. Yet farmers are paying attention…” click here for more

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