Adapting to Heat and Drought
The drought just keeps expanding. According to a report issued Thursday - more than 69-percent of Iowa is now under extreme drought. The area of at least extreme drought is now 94-percent of Missouri and 81-percent of Illinois. Adding to the pain of the drought - it turns out July was the hottest month on record for the continental U.S. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - the period from January to July was the warmest since modern record-keeping began in 1895. It was also the warmest 12-month period - marking the fourth time in as many months that U.S. temperatures broke that record. The heat and drought are no doubt taking a toll on the corn and soybean crops - as well as livestock producers. As the world talks about fighting climate change - American agriculture is trying to adapt so that animals and plants can survive - and even thrive - in intense heat with little rain. Research has underway for years to develop cattle that can withstand heat and grow on lower-quality forage. As for crops - Kansas farmer Clay Scott is testing a new kind of corn this year. He says he needs products like Droughtguard - and he's happy there are such products being worked on. Just consider the condition of the corn and soybean crops today. A Southern Illinois University professor says the damage would be even worse without the crop science advancements of the last 40 years.
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