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Extreme summer weather wreaks havoc on U.S. farms

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Mississippi farmer Van Hensarling is facing a disaster. His peanut and cotton crops have been devastated by extreme summer weather, including triple-digit temperatures and lack of rainfall.

“Cotton production could be cut by two-thirds and peanuts could be cut in half.” I’ve been farming for over 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.

Extreme summer weather wreaks havoc on U.S. farms

Hensarling’s losses alone amount to about $10,000 dollars. He’s not the only victim. From California to Minnesota to Mississippi, farmers across the U.S. have been affected by extreme summer weather.

In Louisiana, Jack Daly’s soybean crop was also affected. He calls soybeans “poor peas” because they’re especially vulnerable to drought and heat.

“Everything on the farm suffers if you don’t fully utilize the crop’s harvest and potential,” Daley says.

In Franklin Parish, Louisiana, there were 27 days of triple-digit temperatures throughout the summer and no rain for nearly six weeks. This unprecedented heat wave, coupled with the lack of cooling at night, caused severe damage to the soybean crop.

The effects of extreme summer weather are hurting farmers and consumers. Farmers are losing money and consumers could face higher food prices.

Daly was relatively lucky, losing only about 15 percent of its soybean production. But others weren’t so lucky. Some farmers lost their entire crop.

Daly said, “It looks like our crop is going to be extinct.”

Despite the challenges, farmers remain optimistic. They know they must continue to sow and reap in order to feed the world.

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