U.S. Drought at Historic Low

Bill's Blog
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The amount of drought in the U.S. remains at a historic low.  The Drought Monitor shows wet conditions over much of the country, with significant spring flooding in Nebraska and Iowa and high water on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and on the Great Lakes.

The above graph is soil moisture – similar to the Drought Monitor.  The entire Corn Belt has above average soil moisture content.  The relatively small area of significant drought in the Northwest covers land that is either not used for agriculture or is mostly irrigated (Washington State fruit crops). 

This graph shows historic annual corn yield.  You can see a couple of years with signficant drought, 2012 – when G.R had the hottest weather since the 1930s – and 1988 – when Grand Rapids had only 1/4″ of rain in the entire month of June.  You can see the steady increase in yield over the past 30 years.

I was in high school when I first realized that some of the books I had to read seemed to be selected to teach a certain perspective.  When I was in college I had to read a book called “The Population Bomb” by Paul Ehrlich.  He forecast massive worldwide famine from increasing population.  It never happened.  What happened was people like Norman Borlaug were making great progress improving yields AND teaching these improved farming methods to other countries and continents.  Look at how many people just in China have been brought out of poverty in the last 50 years.  It’s people like Borlaug who should be read and emulated. 

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