Corn crop: 1988 vs. 2012
The drought conversation is turning a bit nostalgic. This graphic comes courtesy Gavin Maguire, agriculture markets columnist for Thomson Reuters, who commented via Twitter last week: "2012 not as bad as 1988, but heading that way. "
And heading that way fast, if not already there. The news service took the "worst since" label back to 1956 in a report today:
As the worst drought since 1956 begins to expand to the northern and western Midwest, areas that had previously been spared, analysts are slashing corn yield estimates by the hour. Some analysts are also starting to cut their forecasts on the number of acres that will be harvested as farmers opt to plough under their fields to claim insurance. What began the season as a potentially record corn crop as farmers planted the biggest area since 1937, may now be the smallest in at least five years.
An agricultural meteorologist in Iowa says the intensity of this year’s drought has aready as surpassed 1988 and it’s starting to rival far worse droughts dating back to the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, Radio Iowa reported.
Meanwhile, WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio in a story today looks back on "the infamous drought of 1988."
Family farmer, Barney Lavin, tells WUWM that memories of 1988 are always a blink away: “Because it’s something we dread. Eighty-eight was very devastating. It was kind of a benchmark that we measure all droughts by today." But Lavin says his father, who’s 91, talks about the droughts he witnessed in the 1930s.