Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | December 5th, 2018
A recently released Fourth National Climate Statement touched on the various environmental threats we currently face. The Midwest, as a major producer of food for the rest of the country, faces some serious threats to its window of crop planting. Predicted for the future are summer droughts and heavy spring rain, rendering the soil in the Midwest unhealthy and significantly narrowing the planting window. Corn production could drop about 25% by mid-century, a huge concern for rural farmers whose income is inexplicably tied to their crops and yield.
Some side effects of climate change can benefit farmers, leading to warmer winters and a later frost. But the tides are gradually changing, and the slowly increasing number of storms and flooding will likely end up drowning a good amount of crops, not helping them grow.
As the pressure from these extreme weather patterns mounts, farmers in Iowa find themselves in a position of forced adaptation, using terraces, cover crops, and no-till methods to work with Mother Nature and continue growing as many crops as they can.