Drought Takes Toll on Organic Industry

Written By:
WholeFoods Magazine Staff
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United States—One of the most devastating droughts in recent history is ongoing in the Midwest United States, and it is causing concern throughout the organic produce industry.

The effects of this drought can be seen far and wide. An organic producer in southwestern Wisconsin reported losing 80% of its kale and chard crops, according to a Chicago Sun-Times article. One organic dairy producer, also in Wisconsin, told CNN.com that while it already spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on fuel and feed, that number should increase exponentially due to the fact that the farm is not currently able to produce some of its own feed due to the drought. The drought is also likely to cause fuel and feed prices to rise.

In nearby Illinois, it was reported that 71% of land was experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions. A family-run organic produce farm remarked on August 4 that there had not been consecutive days of rain since April.

Some organic produce farms are resorting to asking for financial help. One farm posted a desperate video explaining the harmful effects the drought has had to both the farm’s crops and bank accounts. Another planned a benefit concert to raise funds.

 

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2012 (online 8/7/12)