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Midwest drought

Is a warmer climate to blame for Western wildfires?

Summertime is particularly brutal for residents of the many Midwestern states – skyrocketing temperatures and minimal rainfall provide hardly any relief, and the growing number of wildfires forces people from their homes. A chart from The Atlantic Wire displays the dramatic increase of the number of wildfires over the past 50 years, from 18,229 fires (1,323,666 acres) in 1983 to 67,774 fires (9,326,238 acres) just last year alone.


Drought and Floods Affect US Farmers: Crop Insurance, Improved Farming Methods, and Assistance are the Response

According to the USDA, about 80 percent of agricultural land experienced drought in 2012, conditions not seen since the 1950s. Two thousand US counties were designated as disaster areas, and 67 percent of cattle and 70-75 percent of corn and soybean production was affected. The summer months were the driest, putting 28 percent of the affected farms in exceptional (worse than severe) drought conditions. The tide turned this spring for some Midwestern areas, when torrential rains made it difficult to farmers to plant their crops.

ProFarmer Midwest Crop Tour to Assess Drought Damage

On the second of an annual, four-day tour of crops through seven Midwestern states, ProFarmer Editor Chip Flory expressed his concerns about the drought's effects on this year's corn crop, "After two days on the western leg of the Tour, I now see a risk of a significant cut to the 2012-13 corn