Devastating Drought destroy US Farmlands

In comparison to last week, a robust Southwestern monsoon circulation delivered drought-easing rainfall, sparking localized flash flooding across large sections of the Four Corners States, as well as the southern Great Basin.

However, critically dry conditions persisted across northern California and the Northwest, where, in the driest areas, wildfires dotted the landscape, with containment of some blazes hampered by high temperatures, low humidity levels, erratic winds, and abundant fuels.

Farther east, another round of blistering heat across the northern Plains further stressed rangeland, pastures, and a variety of summer crops.

The central and southern Plains also experienced some hot weather, although agricultural impacts were tempered by mostly adequate soil moisture reserves.

Meanwhile, mostly dry weather covered the Midwest, continuing a trend that had developed in mid-July. Short-term dryness was not yet a concern in the previously well-watered lower Midwest. However, reproductive corn and soybeans in drier areas of the upper Midwest were subjected to increasing levels of stress, especially as temperatures began to rise.

Elsewhere, Southeastern rain—which maintained abundant moisture reserves for pastures and summer crops—primarily fell from the Mississippi Delta to the southern Atlantic Coast.

So now let see which crops or grains will be affected by this sometimes severe drought:

1. 86% of sunflower production is in drought-stricken area

Sunflower production areas vs drought in the US. via USDA

2. 99% of spring wheat production is in drought-stricken area

Spring wheat production areas vs drought in the US. via USDA

3. 99% of durum wheat production is in drought-stricken area

Durum wheat production areas vs drought in the US. via USDA

4. 84% of barley production is in drought-stricken area

Barley production areas vs drought in the US. via USDA

5. 86% of alfalfa production is in drought-stricken area

Alfalfa production areas vs drought in the US. via USDA

Even animal production may be heavily affected by the ongoing drought…

These will be the worst hit grains and crops (>50% lies within an area experiencing drought).

In comparison, some productions like cotton (4% of production in drought area), peanut (0% of production in drought area), sorghum (4% of production in drought area) and rice (20% of production in drought area) won’t be affected heavily.

Major crops like corn (36% of production in drought area), soybean (31% of production in drought area), winter wheat (30% of production in drought area) and hay (36% of production in drought area) mainly grow in areas that still have enough moisture in their soils. But still, about 1/3 of the US production could be wiped out by the current drought.

Drought vs animal farming

Most of the animal inventories are within areas experiencing moderate drought, with the exception of sheep farming as shown in the map below:

53% of the sheep inventory is in drought-stricken area

Sheep wheat production areas vs drought in the US. via USDA

In comparison, 32% of cattle 46% of hogs, and 48% of milk cows are grown in drought-sicken areas. That’s actually pretty high, no? Milk production could take a big hit… And what about a pork meat shortage next year? Time will tell… But get prepaed for the coming food industry collapse. [USDA]