The long-delayed, $19.1-billion disaster bill is on its way to the White House for President Trump’s signature. The House passed the bill, which includes $3 billion in agricultural aid, 354-58.
On Thursday, with President Trump giving his support, the Senate passed a $19.1-billion disaster bill that includes $3 billion for farmers hit by flooding and severe wet weather this spring along with aid to producers pounded last year by hurricanes in the South, wildfires in the West, and volcanoes in Hawaii.
Mired by a rainy and chilly spring, U.S. farmers may soon give up on planting corn in rain-soaked parts of the Farm Belt because it is getting too late for money-making yields, said economist Scott Irwin of the University of Illinois. "I truly believe we are in 'black swan' territory as far as late corn planting is concerned," he said over the weekend, using a term popularized during the financial crisis a decade ago.
Former congressman and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unveiled a $5-trillion climate plan Tuesday that calls for reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and includes a number of agricultural initiatives to reduce and mitigate greenhouse-gas emissions on farms and deal with extreme weather events.
Georgia, the No. 2 cotton state, lost one-third of its crop to Hurricane Michael, said the USDA on Thursday in lowering its estimate of the total U.S. harvest by 7 percent because of storm damage in the Southeast.
Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina at harvest time and caused agricultural losses of $1.1 billion, almost all of it in row crops, said the state Agriculture Department on Wednesday.
Research by UC-Davis says that half of California’s vegetation is at risk of dying from global warming by the end of the century, reported Capital Public Radio.
When heavy rainfall sweeps the countryside, waterways are flooded with peak levels of the nutrient phosphorus, which can trigger algal blooms and create dead zones in rivers, lakes, and coastal waters, says a newly published study.
Climate change is bringing a longer and warmer growing season to the Northeast along with heavy rainfall that can delay spring planting, says a study led by Cornell scientists.
Crop insurance is a popular safeguard for row-crop farmers, but “a lot of the nation’s vegetables and fruit crops aren’t covered,” says Bloomberg in an examination of crop insurance data in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. “Only 34 percent of vegetable acreage [is] covered, and many less common products are not covered by the program at all.”