From Hurricanes Fiona and Ian to flooding in eastern Kentucky and a record dry summer as the western United States entered its 22nd year of a once-in-a-millennium megadrought, the United States has already experienced over a dozen major weather catastrophes, with setbacks surpassing $1 billion.
Crops ruined by extreme weather
(Photo : Keagan Henmnan/ Via Unsplash)
Extreme weather is also causing havoc in the food system of the United States and much of the rest of the world, as per The Guardian.
Many crops are starting to struggle to grow and produce the very same yields that they would under average conditions as temperatures rise, precipitation patterns shift, and drought conditions lengthen.
Changes in growth season, restrictions on water rights, and progressively powerful storms are all trying to force growers to take into account whether to close, relocate, or otherwise change their operations.
Extreme weather events are indeed disrupting food shipments all across the country and around the world.
After Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida’s Gulf coast counties in late September, citrus growers in the state’s main agricultural counties began reporting that 50% to 90% of their fruit had been torn off the trees by high winds and rain.
The Highlands Citrus Growers Association’s executive director, Ray Royce, claimed that in some counties, growers have lost up to 80% of their fruit.
The invasive bacterium known as greening disease, which grows best in warm climates and can kill trees as well as end up causing fruit to ripen too early, struck Florida orange growers’ plants at the beginning of the year, adding to the difficulty of the situation.
The fewest rice seeds were sown in California since the 1950s.
Only 250,000 acres of rice will be harvested this year, or roughly half of a typical season, according to the California Rice Commission.
Although rice growers typically have very senior water rights, which means they are the first ones entitled to any available water, Daniel Sumner, professor of agricultural economics at UC Davis, stated that many growers decided not to plant because there simply wasn’t enough water to last a season.
California experienced drought for the fourth year in a row this past year.
California’s Wheat Industry’s Distinctiveness
For many farmers, wheat serves as both their main crop and a valuable rotational crop that helps control disease and enhance soil quality.
An essential component of California’s agricultural economy is the production of wheat, as per California AG Today.
In California, wheat is typically produced in quantities of 1.1 million tons annually for both human and animal consumption.
In 2015, wheat was planted on almost 470,000 acres in California, with the farm value of the grain produced being close to $125 million. It seems that plantings increased in 2016.
According to Nick Matteis, the executive director of the California Association of Wheat Growers, between 500,000 and 600,000 acres of wheat are currently planted.
Oranges in the economy of Florida
The climate in Florida is perfect for producing juicy oranges that are pure enough for orange juice, as per FloridaCitrus.
Due to its favorable climate, Florida is the second-largest citrus producer in the world and the top US producer of 100% orange juice.
Approximately half of the orange juice consumed in America comes from Florida, where over 95% of the oranges grown there are used to make the juice.
The Florida citrus industry supports 45,000 jobs and provides $8.6 million to the state of Florida.
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