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Heavy Rains Soak North American Grain Belt [Video]

While some of the West suffers in drought, other parts of the U.S. breadbasket suffer from too many storm clouds
widespread flooding
widespread flooding


Widespread flooding and record rains have swamped Canada's wheat crop.
Credit: The Story Group

Editor's Note: "Climate at Your Doorstep" is an effort by The Daily Climate to highlight stories about climate change impacts happening now. Find more stories like this at www.dailyclimate.org/doorstep.

Much of the West is in drought, but a good portion of North America's grain belt could do with a little less rain.

Widespread flooding and record rains have swamped Canada's wheat crop; Bloomberg News reported last week that farmers in the Canadian prairies have planted 10 percent less acreage than they did a year ago as a result of wet weather. Total acreage is the lowest since 2011.

Minnesota, Connecticut and Detroit are all dealing with an increased in deluges.

None of this surprises climate scientists: Climate disruptions to agricultural production have increased in the past 40 years and are projected to increase over the next 25 years, according to the 2014 National Climate Assessment.

Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser doesn’t need a federal report to tell him the climate is changing. Climate changes already affect how, when, and what he plants, works his fields, buys machinery, and plans for the future.

More extreme weather, including more very heavy precipitation events, have pushed Gaesser to adapt in creative ways. “You wonder how you’re going to take care of the crop the way it should be taken care of,” he said.

The Story Group, a journalism partnership based in Boulder, Colo., interviewed Gaesser as part of a series of reports looking at Americans on the front lines of journalism.

The initial videos were underwritten by foundations – Energy Foundation, Stanford Woods Center for the Environment, Aspen Global Change Institute. They're wrapping up a Kickstarter campaign to fund more and could use your support.

An Iowa farmer faces weather extremes from The Story Group on Vimeo.

This article originally appeared at The Daily Climate, the climate change news source published by Environmental Health Sciences, a nonprofit media company.

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