What is it?
Agua, water, H20… No matter what you call it, there is no doubting that it is essential to life on planet earth. However, sometimes there is not enough when and where we need it, and sometimes there is way too much! Currently, the midwestern United States is experiencing the worst drought in the past 50 years, while the southeastern United States is soaking up lots of rain from hurricane season. Whether you believe in global warming/cooling or not, it does seem as if the global climate is changing and that it is creating some big water problems for the global agriculture industry.
Why is it important?
Consistent and efficient agricultural production is a must for global markets to remain stable! The USDA’s Economic Research Service is predicting the annual corn crop yields from the US to fall about 27% from the predicted yields at planting. That is roughly 4 BILLION bushel’s of corn less than what the global markets are ready for and what farmers were expecting to produce. This sharp decline of production in many different crops across the country will no doubt significantly raise food prices and put farmers into a hard spot. The current drought in “America’s breadbasket” will certainly influence international agriculture trade, global poverty/hunger, and American agricultural techniques and policies.
There are several ways that this issue can be addressed. 1) Increased Agri-science research in drought resistant crops, more efficient irrigation techniques, and other efficiency based technologies and techniques. We need bright and innovative agriculturalist to continue to lead the way in global agriculture production. 2) Review current US and international agriculture policies to ensure that governments are working together to overcome the obstacles of drought and flooding, and to continue to focus on our overall goal of feeding the world.