There have been a number of interesting stories on the impacts of rain and drought in the last couple of weeks. Here is a sample:
Farmers in South Dakota are struggling with production issues after a record-setting wet June. Some farmers have reported total losses in some fields due to standing water and others are having trouble getting into the fields, especially those with drainage issues. You can read the story from AgWeb here.
Heavy rains in Texas have provided drought relief but have also increased pest pressure in the Rio Grande Valley. There are also concerns for increases in citrus rust mite, which thrive in wet conditions. However, overall the impact of the rains has been positive because of the increase in citrus size due to the additional water. The Packer story is available here.
The Daily Breeze in Torrance CA published an article on how droughts have “crushed” civilizations in the past. In the article it puts the current California drought in the context of worse droughts that have happened in the region in the past and some of the negative consequences on native populations that have occurred as a result. Some of these changes include increases in interpersonal violence and increases in social hierarchy. For example, in skeletons from periods with more frequent drought show a higher number of injuries from arrowheads and spear points. In the worst cases, entire civilizations have relocated or vanished. You can read the story here.