Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Extreme weather kills cattle, stresses crops, risks workers

Drought conditions as of June 14 (U.S. Drought Monitor map; click on it for larger, clearer version)

Extreme weather is hammering rural America:

The Western U.S. is seeing the worst drought in 1,200 years, say scientists. The extreme drought has depleted groundwater, melted snowpack, and dried out lakes, and it's going to get worse, Kasha Patel and Lauren Tierney report for The Washington Post.

Most of the U.S. is dealing with extreme weather of one kind or another. Read more here.

The heat in the Southwest is putting outdoor workers at much higher risk of health problems or even death. Read more here.

The heat is also stressing crops. Some farmers talk about how they're dealing with it. Read more here.

Yellowstone National Park's northern half is unlikely to reopen this summer after historic flooding. It's already hurting nearby towns that rely on tourism to survive. Read more here.

A heat wave in Kansas has killed around 10,000 head of cattle, according to an early estimate. Heat kills cattle every summer, but they're often able to survive thanks to cooler nights. But high humidity in Kansas is keeping it hot at night, leaving livestock without relief, and hot weather hit earlier than usual. Read more here.

One agricultural journalist notes that conspiracy theories are already circulating about the Kansas cattle deaths and urges journalists to focus on facts. Read more here.

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