How weather is hurting 2011 crops so far
AFBF’s Johnna Miller and AFBF chief economist Bob Young
May 22, 2011
Johnna Miller: From wet weather and floods to drought and wildfires, Mother Nature has put farmers behind schedule with spring planting.
Bob Young: If the weather is exactly perfect from here on out we can probably recover and things will be fine but who knows at this stage of the game?
Johnna Miller: American Farm Bureau Chief Economist Bob Young says floods that have been getting a lot of media attention are only a small part of the problem.
Bob Young: We’ve probably had a larger production affect associated with bad weather ,dealing with droughts in Texas and Oklahoma and Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, with the late plantings that we’re having because of cold, wet weather up in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois. Farmers are very good at getting a crop in the ground when conditions are such that they can do that but it’s just been too cold and too wet. Ohio, for example, less than 20 percent planted and by this time of the year typically they’d be more up in the neighborhood of 75 to 80 percent planted. So that that’s going to have a bigger effect at the end of the day really than what we’re talking about with respect to the floods.
Johnna Miller: But Bob Young says it’s not just the crop folks who are stressed, particularly in the drought ridden parts of the Southwest.
Bob Young: Some of these folks in the cattle industry in Texas, for example, it’s not going to surprise me that they decide to you know quit raising cattle. Cattle folks in particular because of forage problems. Those cattle eat grass and if the grass isn’t there because it’s all dried up they’ve either got to go out and buy additional grass someplace and ship it in or move the animals to feed. So regardless the producers there are facing some real challenges. We classify droughts as D1, D2 and up to D4. These are D4 droughts in Texas. These are the worst droughts that we’ve had and we’re talking about 200-plus days without rain in some of these parts of the country.