corn

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma farmers might see an increased profit due to an increase in price for crops like wheat, corn, cotton, soybeans and grains.

Why Even Corn Can Get A Bad Night Of Sleep

Jan 20, 2021
GRANT GERLOCK / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA FILE PHOTO

In 2020, a stubborn enemy emerged for corn farmers across the Great Plains: drought. Today, about half of the U.S. is in drought, with large swaths of Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois impacted.

Jonathan Ahl / Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting farm income will increase significantly this year, but that’s only because of an unprecedented amount of government payments that could top $40 billion.

According to new quarterly crop data from the USDA, farmers planted about 92 million acres of corn this spring, a 5 million acre decrease over the agency's March acreage report. The decrease could slash this season’s corn harvest by around a billion bushels, providing some much-needed price increases for commodity farmers. 

Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue recently announced that $545 million in aid has been approved for farmers who have been affected by COVID-19.

AMY MAYER / HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA FILE PHOTO

The national average price for corn this season is back to $3.60 a bushel, about where it’s been most of this year except for an early-season spike ($4.16 in July) before the size and quality of the crop was known. 

That’s not great news for corn growers, and for the ethanol part of the market, the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates are even worse.

Climate change is coming like a freight train, or a rising tide. And our food, so dependent on rain and suitable temperatures, sits right in its path.

The plants that nourish us won't disappear entirely. But they may have to move to higher and cooler latitudes, or farther up a mountainside. Some places may find it harder to grow anything at all, because there's not enough water.

Here are five foods, and food-growing places, that will see the impact.

Wheat