USDA Declares Wheat Belt Disaster Area

Persistent drought pummels crops

Noah Aldonas

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The federal government has declared natural disaster areas in four main wheat-producing states as persistent drought continues to batter the plains region. The four states—Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas—produce about 30 percent of the country’s wheat crop, 70 percent of which is winter wheat.

About 60 percent of the U.S. has been stuck in a state of drought since last summer. With crop outlooks down, grain prices have soared, and dealers are warning of further price shocks with wheat.

“This is the worst that I have ever seen it and I have worked at the co-op for 43 years,” said Rosie Meier, a grain dealer in Great Bend, Kansas. The last time central Kansas saw a good dowsing was in April last year. “If things don’t turn around we would probably only get 20 percent of the crop,” Meier said.

Last year was the hottest on record for the continental U.S., causing severe drought in the Midwest, which produces much of the nation’s corn and soy beans.

Via The Guardian

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