Massive floods in the southern United States, caused by unusually wet spring weather, continue to hinder and delay crop production throughout the United States. The floods, which have destroyed over three million acres of farmland and occurred at the start of the critical export season, could cause massive ripples across the American economy. Particularly hard hit by the flood is the soybean crop, much of which is grown in Southern states. The decline of the American soybean export this year could prove to be a boon to Brazil, the world’s second largest soybean grower, which could be positioned to take advantage of American weather concerns and capitalize on growing international demand.
In addition to Southern floods, the wet spring weather had delayed and damaged crop production across the country. In the Midwest, for example, overly saturated soil has prevented many farmers from planting their spring crops. Many farmers, facing grain shortages this spring, had hoped that Southern harvests and production could increase grain supplies. However, Southern flooding is threatening the corn supply, which could lead to higher food prices nationwide.
The ultimate result on the food supply is still unclear. It remains early enough in the season for farmers to replant or replace damaged fields and crops. However, many might choose instead to take insurance payments and leave their fields untouched, in which case, the combination of increased demand and a limited supply would almost certainly increase food prices.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer