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Will the Farm Bill Prop Up Doomed Crops in this Extreme Climate?

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Farm Issues page.

Things are looking bleak for corn farmers in the Midwest. Drought conditions and above-average temperatures are likely to continue for some time and now even soybeans - corn's sister commodity - are succumbing to the weather. The economic implications for the entire Midwest - and not just farmers - are dire.

Not that this is entirely unexpected. Experts have been warning commodity farmers for years that a changing climate will lead to exactly these kinds of devastating conditions in the nation's heartland.

And, yes, I agree with David Roberts, who says it's time to dispense with "climate disclaimers," i.e. the "well, gee, we don't really know" qualifications about the relationship between climate change and these kinds of weather events. After all, as Grist reported yesterday, the government's National Climatic Data Center calculated that if the climate weren't warming, we wouldn't expect to see another period as hot as the last 13 months have been until the year 124,652. Does anyone really believe that we're experiencing "100,000-year" warmth? Me neither.



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