An interactive map on Climate Central shows the 10 states where crop damage was greatest in 2012. But it also shows how the individual states were affected by the drought:
The good news for Colorado is that although we were hardest hit by the drought, we produce the least amount of corn of the states shown. Kentucky’s corn crop was down more than 50%.
The map shows the ten states hardest hit by crop damage. Corn took its biggest hit in Kentucky. (Surprising. I had no idea corn was big in Kentucky.) Soy beans and sorghum were devastated in Kansas. Overall, crop yields in these ten states hit 20- to 30-year lows in 2012.
The not-so-cheerful weather news from the report:
The second week of February marked the 34th consecutive week in which more than half the land area in the contiguous U.S. has been engulfed by drought, and the 33rd consecutive week in which more than 10 percent of that area was under “extreme drought,” or worse. As this historic drought rolls on through a dry winter, the chances of recovery rest increasingly on a far wetter-than-average spring.
And there’s no indication whatsoever that Colorado is going to have a “far wetter-than-average spring”:
You can read the all dismal details on Climate Central, but I came away wondering how anyone can still be denying that our planet is warming. Maybe those people don’t live where agriculture and drought are critically important — although they don’t seem to mind consuming what we manage to produce.
It also occurs to me that we’re still using corn as biofuel, when it is a valuable food crop and livestock feed. There are other sources of biofuel; there’s no reason to keep using corn. That’s simplistic, I know. But I can’t see continuing to use food as fuel.
- 2012 Colorado wheat, corn and hay alfalfa yields down from 2011 levels due to drought (northfortynews.com)
- USDA’s Crop Report for 2012 to Show Drought Impact (abcnews.go.com)
- Drought Does US a Favor (blogs.the-american-interest.com)
- Corn stocks drop after drought of 2012 (stltoday.com)
- February 2012 To January 2013 Was The Warmest On Record (huffingtonpost.com)
- U.S. spring crop season jeopardized as drought persists (reuters.com)