Bad Weather is making things tougher for farmers

From floods in Iowa and across the Midwest to the droughts in California, American farmers cannot seem to catch a break.

The floods in Iowa have affected 83 of the 99 counties with farmland losses in the billions of dollars. Grain prices may continue to rise, due in part to the flooding. It is not uncommon for food prices to spike after bad weather. Typically, these increases do not last long.

The bad weather has devastated some farmers to the point where they do not want to continue to farm the land. Farmers such as Gerald Jenkins, of the Ursa Farmer Cooperative, in Meyer, Ill., are not going to replant this season, and Jenkins may not plant in the future. Ron Lanz, a farmer from Iowa, lost more than 800 hogs due to flooding. He said he has considered giving up farming altogether.

While one part of the country wants the rain to stop, the other part is praying for rain to come. California is on the verge of a two-year drought, which is costing farmer Todd Diedrich up to 750 acres worth roughly $3 million in lost revenue. Many farmers, including Diedrich, are not sure their farm will survive another year like this.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing the state Legislature to approve an $11.9 billion bond for water management, offering relief to those affected by this drought.

Consumers also need to prepare themselves for the aftershock of this bad weather. Fuel and food prices could be affected due to farmers not being able to produce a good crop.

Stephen Schork editor of the Schork Report, a newsletter that focuses on energy, stated that the bad weather could not have come at a worse time. Consumers are already paying over $4 a gallon at the gas pump and food prices have been predicted to go up by at least 7 percent, putting a big strain on America’s wallet.

With this bad weather, food and fuel prices could continue to rise. The question farmers and consumers now have to ask: What is going to happen next?

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