Grim Harvest: Climate Change Sweeps Iowa Farms (Op-Ed)
Daniel Glick, thestorygroup.org | July 18, 2014 01:47am ET
Daniel Glick is the co-founder of thestorygroup.org, a Colorado-based multimedia journalism company. He was also one of the editors of the National Climate Assessment, and has written about climate change for many publications, including National Geographic and Newsweek. Glick contributed this article to Live Science’s Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.
Corning, Iowa, isn’t the first place that people think of as ground zero for climate-change impacts . The gently rolling landscape in the southwest quadrant of this corn-fed state is punctuated by silver grain silos and carpeted in corn stalks and soybean rows. Farmers here know that sooner or later, commodity prices, fuel prices, seed prices and pretty much every type of weather that comes out of the sky will buffet their business. It’s just the price you pay if you’re a farmer, they’ll say with a shrug — the price of being able to work some of the planet’s most fertile soil and grow food for a nation.
Since he was 15, Ray Gaesser has planted, tended, harvested and sold crops through all kinds of conditions, good times and bad. In his 46 years of farming, he’s learned to stay on top of all the variables he has to juggle, from international trade trends to new soybean-planting techniques. As president of the American Soybean Association, he also tries to keep up with everything from biotechnology advances to biodiesel policy changes.