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- As historic flooding continues to affect regions across the US, farmers are taking to Twitter to document the challenges they face.
- With the window for planting closing in, farmers in the Midwest and Southeast have grown increasingly worried about this year’s harvest.
- Planting disruptions driven by climate change are expected to become more severe in the coming years, according to earth scientists.
As historic flooding continues to affect regions across the US, farmers are taking to Twitter to document the challenges they face.
Months of torrential downpours have made the last 12 months the wettest on record, wreaking havoc on farmlands and leaving growers unable to plant major crops like corn and soybeans.
With the window for planting closing in, producers in the Midwest and Southeast have grown increasingly concerned about the harvest. And they’re making it known online, with dozens of tweets with the hashtag "NoPlant19" posted each week.
"Could have it worse but not being able to plant 60+% of our soybeans after two weeks of sunshine, because of #flood19 and mud is depressing with several days of rain in the forecast #noplant19," Matt Ivy, a farmer in Blackwater, Missouri, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
In March, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that nearly two-thirds of the country was at risk of flooding. About half of those states faced the potential for major or moderate flooding, situations that were slated to affect nearly 200 million Americans this season.
Planting disruptions driven by climate change are expected to become more severe in the coming years, said Nathan Mueller, a University of California at Irvine scientist who studies global food security.
"Unfortunately, future climate projections indicate that increases in heavy downpours will continue," Mueller said. "Extreme heat is another major concern for Midwest crops. In contrast to other regions of the country, extreme heat has not increased over the Corn Belt over recent decades, but projections suggest it will worsen in the future."
This all comes at an already uncertain time for American farmers. Facing a flurry of protectionist policies levied in President Donald Trump’s trade wars, many are operating on thin margins.
After months of delay, Trump approved a disaster-relief package last week that is set to aid communities affected by extreme weather. Separately, his administration has rolled out a $16 billion bailout package for those hurt by the president’s trade war with China.
Here’s a look at what farmers are saying on Twitter:
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