Gotta Do That Rain Dance
Everyone likes the sunshine, but wouldn’t you like to see some rain once in a while? The United States is experiencing one of the worst droughts in history. This drought is considered to be so bad that it rivals some of the droughts from the Dust Bowl days in the early 20th century. A lot of farmers, especially in the Midwest and Great Plains regions, are losing money at an alarming rate all because the rain is not falling from the sky. So it’s hard not to believe that they’re not doing a rain dance.
The National Climatic Data Center’s Palmer Drought Indices state that 54.6 percent of the country was in a state of moderate-to-severe drought in June 2012. There is also a county in every single state, including 15 entire states, which are in some form of drought. Now a lot of people think, “This drought’s not gonna affect me.”
On a short-term basis, they’re right. People are going to be doing their normal summer activities, like kayaking in a river, going down to the beach and even playing sports on a recently-watered field. But people need to think about a month or two down the road. This drought is mainly affecting domestic corn producers (like farmers in Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska) and produce markets across the country. This lack of rain will not let the farmers have much of a chance for business as they rely heavily on the weather to produce their crops to its full potential. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said that because of favorable conditions in March and April, nearly 96 million acres of corn were planted across the country, but only about 70 percent will pollinate properly prior to harvest this summer.
The lower yield of corn could spill into a domino effect for American consumers as this widespread dry spell is going to make us pinch our pennies as it affects not only what comes out of our wallets, but what goes into our cars and our dinner table.