Drought conditions have caused a number of problems for farmers in the US. Among them has been a rise in plant and soil based toxins which have led to the death of dozens of cattle in the Midwest and threatened the general public with the possibility of tainting milk and drinking water.
As we move into a time in which floods, frosts, windstorms and droughts happen more frequently with the accelerated change of our climate, the pests and plant diseases which blight our crops will also transform. Shifting climates and re-occuring extreme weather events will cause pests to emerge in new areas, alter predator-prey relationships, and increase the threat to public health and food security as humans respond by using heavier doses of pesticides.
As you’ve probably noticed, the drought that hit the US starting last summer has not caused society to collapse, nor are we experiencing a drought-induced famine like the one that took place three years ago in the Horn of Africa in which almost 1 billion people went hungry. So why should you care if the nation’s staple crops of wheat, corn and soybean suffered sizeable declines? To answer this question, let’s first take a look at how dependent we are on these crops—they are, after all, called staples for a reason.
Corn is in more of your every day products and foods than you may think. But what happens when an extreme weather event such as the drought that hit the US last summer cuts our supply of this staple ingredient? There is the corn we eat and then there is the corn that we don’t…
Regardless of the debate whether climate change is man made or not—the fact remains that climate change is happening now, just as predicted decades ago. Now is the time to start thinking about how we can adapt to living in a rapidly changing environment.
Americans are still bearing the financial burden of the drought which devastated crops in 2012. Unfortunately, we have only begun to see the real effects of the drought on food prices—the worst of which is still to come. The total financial impacts of the drought are still being calculated over the months to come. Inflation of food prices is expected to occur at different times for different foods throughout 2013, but overall the rise is supposed to reach 3-4 percent, particularly in eggs, meat and dairy products.
As meat and dairy prices rise, questions on the viability of the industry’s dependence on just a few key grains are being asked a little louder—and this time by more than just sustainable food enthusiasts. In order to understand the full impact of drought on the meat and dairy industry, it is important to understand…
To get some insight into just how frequently extreme weather events take place, and how they affect food production, let’s look at droughts and severe heat waves that have taken place around the world in this new millennium. Tune in and feel the heat of Drought: Greatest Hits Of The 2000’s.