AGRIBUSINESS: Looking Ahead, Drought Could Worsen

This year’s drought – covered nearly 62 percent of the contiguous United States making it the second worst next to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

U.S. Climate Prediction Center Meteorologist David Unger says forecast models suggest an area from parts of western Kansas south into Texas and west to New Mexico will probably see the drought continue until at least March.

Unger says there’s a chance the Ohio River Valley will have above-average rain and snow levels this winter.

This drought is just one of 11 natural disasters that cost more than $1 billion this year – according to National Climatic Data Center Applied Climatologist Adam Smith.

Ag Economist Chris Hurt says that means risk management is going to be extremely important for corn farmers in the coming year. With three-years of below-normal corn yields and the ongoing drought – Hurt says there’s a potential for corn prices to rise to record highs in the coming year. He recommends crop insurance as the first way for farmers to protect against potential bad outcomes. Without crop insurance – he says it would be depression in many farming communities right now.

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