Nearly three quarters of US farmers say this year’s drought is hurting their harvest — with significant crop and income loss, according to a new survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, an insurance company and lobbying group that represents agricultural interests.
This year’s drought conditions are taking a harder toll than last year’s, as 37% of farmers said they are plowing through and killing existing crops that won’t reach maturity because of dry conditions. That’s a jump from 24% last year, according to the survey.
July was the third-hottest on record for the US and ranked in the top 10 for every state in the West except for Montana, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The US Department of Agriculture’s weekly weather and crop bulletin ending the week of August 6 reported “rapidly intensifying drought gripped the central and southern Plains and mid-South, depleting topsoil moisture and significantly stressing rangeland, pastures, and various summer crops.”