More than half of the country was under moderate to extreme drought in June, the largest area of the contiguous United States affected by such dryness in nearly 60 years. Nearly 1,300 counties across 29 states have been declared federal disaster areas. Areas under moderate to extreme drought in June of each year are shown in orange below.
The impact of this year's drought on crop production will be the focus of Managing Through the Drought, a July 11 webinar being hosted by the American Society of Agronomy. It will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. CT. A panel of experts will discuss drought-related topics, including assessing crops and their condition, management recommendations for various situations, risk management, and insurance. A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion.
The combination of high temperatures and inadequate moisture has created severe stress in many corn fields. As dry weather continues, more corn fields are showing signs of moisture stress with leaf rolling evident during midday hours. In many stressed fields, soil moisture is available but it appears beyond reach of most corn roots.
Malawi periodically experiences drought leading to shortages of grain on the domestic market and a sharp increase in consumer prices. Consumers, including many of the poorest farmers in the country, experience difficulty obtaining enough grain to meet their family requirements. One method to reduce the risks of grain shortfalls is to improve the capacity of farmers to produce enough grain even when drought occurs - for example, through input subsidies and efforts to improve water use efficiency. An additional measure is to finance the establishment and distribution of strategic grain stocks. However, in the occasional year when drought is most extreme, supplementary assistance will still be needed in the form of expensive food imports and, possibly, food aid.
Sprinkler irrigation systems are rainfall-like methods of distributing water throughout soil. Water is distributed through a network of pipes by pumping, which—through spray heads—sprays it into the air, breaks it up into tiny drops falling to the soil. It is one of four basic irrigation methods; the other three are subsurface, surface or gravity and trickle irrigations.
Small grain diseases that are more severe under dry soil conditions in North Dakota include wheat streak mosaic virus and common root rot. These two diseases add stress to the small grain plant which is already under stress from lack of moisture and too much heat. Wheat streak mosaic is a virus disease primarily attacking wheat crops, and is transmitted by wheat curl mites.
Climate change is not something new to coffee. It has already hit the coffee farmers hard in a dramatic manner. It is happening right now, in front of our very own eyes. A combination of factors like extreme heat and cold, unseasonal rains, severe droughts and floods, prolonged high daytime temperatures and sudden drop in night time temperature has significantly affected the ecology of plantation belts. Water resources, agriculture systems, cultural operations, plantation economics and loss of plant genetic resources has taken a severe toll, not only on coffee but also on the multiple crops grown inside ecofriendly coffee forests.
Drought is a complex, slow-onset phenomenon that affects more people than any other natural hazard and results in serious economic, social, and environmental impacts in both developing and developed countries. Drought conditions have been widespread in recent years in Europe, North Africa, the Mid-East and West Asian countries, India, China, North and Central America, and South America.
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