At the recent Nebraska Farmers Union Convention Dr. Martha Shulski, our State Climatologist who co-authored the 4th National Climate Assessment, eerily foretold to a large group of farmers that we are moving into a new era of weather extremes. Dr. Shulski also noted it was likely that as farmers, we would need to consider a change in our farming practices due to extreme climatic events if we expected to maintain sustainable businesses. Only 3 months later the 2019 Bomb Cyclone hit the midwest, and a perfect storm of conditions led to a series of catastrophic flooding events that cost our farmers millions of dollars. Many of these costs took years of sweat investment and will never be recovered.
As the water recedes, at least for now, Nebraskans face an unknown climatic future. While the future may be uncertain, there is no doubt the recent events have sent a ripple across the Great Plains. Farmers, such as those in our family, now must address how to conduct their farm business differently to adapt to the rapidly changing weather patterns.