Midwest Drought: Rains Help, But Not Enough To Revive Crops

The Midwest drought has been alleviated a little from rains that hit the areas this past week, but unfortunately the rains came too little too late to save corn and soybean crops.

The Financial Times reports that Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather, stated:

“There were some decent rains in central Illinois and west central Indiana yesterday, but it’s too late for corn and too late for most of the bean crop.”

Keeney added the the worst drought in over 50 years severely hurt the corn and soybean crops, whose growing season coincided with the lack of rain. While the coming rains will help some of the soybeans that mature later on, showers arrived too late to help the Midwest’s suffering corn crops.

Between 1.0 to 1.5 inches of rain fell in the central Midwest on Thursday and almost 2.5 inches fell in west central Indiana. The rains have not been enough to end the historic drought, and drier weather is expected to return. Keeney stated:

“It looks like a dry weekend and dry next week, there could be some rain in the last week of August.”

Yahoo! News notes that, with the Midwest drought impacting corn and soybean corn crops as well as weak monsoon rains in India and droughts near the Black Sea, experts are predicting that the world may be headed toward another food crisis. While Asia may keep catastrophe at bay with a strong rice harvest, Philippe Pinta of the French farmers federation FNSEA warned that:

“We have had quite a few climate events this year that will lead to very poor harvests, notably in the United States with corn or in Russia with soja. That will create price pressures similar to what we saw in 2007-2008.”

Strategists at the CM-CIC brokerage have also noted that cereal prices have seen a price increase thanks to the increase in corn “prices of almost 40 percent since June 1.” US commodities analyst, AgResource Company president Dan Basse, stated that:

“We need every metric tonne of wheat and grain the Australian farmers can produce. Anything that the Australian farmer can do to assure or boost his production should be profitable in the year ahead.”

The Midwest drought is expected to cost billions of dollars and affect food prices for months to come.