ORLANDO, Fla. – Part of the climate we are living in now is an increase in hot summers, and longer droughts. These hotter and drier summers are doing damage to the production of food. Below is a graphic to explain the cycle of plants wilting in the hotter growing seasons.
Just how much of an effect has the change in our summers made? This graphic shows the projected decline in soybean production. Some of the biggest producers of soybeans are Oklahoma, Kansas and the Missouri and Mississippi River Valley Regions. This would mean a drop of about 9% for soybeans by the year 2050.
The same is true for the impacts on our ability to grow corn. The decline for corn production is projected to drop by 7% after 2050.
These declines would come as we get hotter, drier and have more people to feed than ever before.
There will be ways to prevent this from happening. We have discussed carbon capture, but this will require changes in farming. Some of those changes will be no-till farming designed to slow soil erosion. There is also regenerative agriculture. That means planting crops that grow deep roots and don’t have to be replanted every year. We also may have to look at planting corn and soybeans at different times of the year than we are used to in order to take advantage of a changing growing season.