Drought is a perennial summertime problem around the globe, but in recent years, it’s gotten worse. Last year, for example, was the hottest year ever recorded in the U.S. The federal government even maintains a webpage titled the U.S. Drought Portal, monitoring drought conditions around the country.
But, as food-and-farming activist Gary Paul Nabhan wrote in July, not enough is being done at the federal level about ameliorating or preventing drought:
Investing in climate-change adaptation will be far more cost-effective than doling out $11.6 billion in crop insurance payments, as the government did last year, for farmers hit with diminished yields or all-out crop failures.
Which is why farmers and scientists are trying to tackle the problem on their own, ranging from the Oregon farmer who perversely irrigates his fields when it's raining (thus building up the water table below the soil for later summertime use) to the Cornell scientist who, along with Monsanto, is developing a heat-tolerant broccoli.
Let’s hope so.
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