The 2012 drought has resulted in one-half of all of U.S. counties being declared federal disaster areas, a number that is likely to grow as the drought worsens. More than 80 percent of corn and soybean crops are in drought-affected areas. Crop losses for 2012 are likely to be catastrophic, and economists are predicting that the resulting crop insurance payouts to those farmers that hold policies could top $40 billion.
Dairy and livestock farmers who lack such insurance policies are faced with impossible choices between buying increasingly expensive and scarce feed, or selling off their livelihood into a sinking, captive market. Food prices are likely to spike in the coming months as speculation and price gouging take hold of the market.
The drought doesn’t respect borders. Countries around the world are experiencing the same extreme weather patterns. The force of Mother Nature combined with global warming brought on by industry has called the bluff of half-hearted responses to climate change. The time for change is past due.