Farmers face prolonged drought

Summer has just begun, but much of the American West has been plagued by this disease for months Drought. Ribs Oregon up to TexasEntire regions face water shortages and high temperatures.

To explain the situation, Nina Often referred to. This atmospheric phenomenon raging in the Pacific this winter is warming and drying much of the American West, much to the chagrin of producers.

for that Kansas, the nation’s breadbasket, a sequence of excessively dry winters and springs has worsened harvest prospects. From last year’s average of 35 cu/ha, this year’s yield is estimated at only 25 cu/ha, with wide variations. Chris Tanner, a grain farmer in the state’s west, expressed his grief to public radio NPR: “The world needs so much. Wheat We want to do what we can to feed it now. But we can only do what Mother Nature allows. Prices are good, but that doesn’t matter if you don’t have anything to sell. »

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Drought has reached extreme levels in the western United States. ©GFA

Irrigation restrictions

Water scarcity is the first agricultural state of the country California. Since 2014, droughts have increased in severity and frequency and competition for access to water has increased. With nearly 60% of its land area currently in severe drought, many crops such as rice are threatened by irrigation restrictions.

Supply of water to producers is done through contract via A federal agency. When the stock levels fall below certain thresholds, the allocated volume decreases. However, historically low levels Lake Shasta, which is the main source, no longer allows water supplies to many growers in the Sacramento Valley, where rice is produced. This year the acreage will be 100,000 hectares or half the production.

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Also sad is that almonds use 10% of the water in California. Faced with restrictions and high water bills, growers have opted to cut down or cut down part of their trees this year. Less profitable tree crops such as peaches, plums or nectarines are affected. The University of California estimated losses of more than $1.1 billion in agricultural production this year.

Heat extremes were observed

The films made national headlines. In all, 2,000 heads perished, victims of the heat Kansas. Speculations about the causes of the disaster prompted Scarlett Hagins of the Kansas Cattle Breeding Association to explain the phenomenon on social networks: “We went from 20 to 40 ° C in one day. The intense heat, high humidity and lack of wind did not allow the animals to lower their temperature. This is very unusual in our area. .

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