Connie Johnson, Ashley Jennings
2 March 2014
Droughts have always been a problem in the United States, but the problem is increasing. Many Americans hear about droughts in the news, but do not pay much attention to the under lying threat droughts cause in America. When one thinks about droughts they typically think it is just the cause of a lack of rainfall, but it is more complex than that. When researching droughts I want to know; what is causing the spike of droughts in the Midwest of the United States? My interest in droughts is due to the cause it has on my family. Many of my family members are famers and the affects of the droughts have made their crops yields significantly lower, and have financially hurt them. I have a personal tie to droughts and their affects, and want to explore more about droughts. While exploring this issue I want to know how can we fix the drought crises across our nation.
Maxwell, J. , & Soulé, P. (2011). Drought and Other Driving Forces Behind Population Change in Six Rural Counties in the United States. Southeastern Geographer. Volume 51, Number 1, Spring 2011, 51(1), 133-149. The authors Justin T. Maxwell and Pater T. Soulé compared the “impacts of drought has on population”, they choose six counties; Douglass Country in South Dakota, Pottawatomie in Kansas, Tillman in Oklahoma, Sampson in North Carolina, Bedford in Tennessee, Adams in Indiana. In the study conducted, they selected “counties that had a similar economic makeup to minimize the influence of unique county situations” (145). The cause of droughts in these counties is due to population and agriculture. “Drought has been shown to influence migration and population patterns for both historical societies” (142). In certain counties like Adams, agriculture is an important characteristic of its survival with 88,060 hectares promoted to agriculture (142). As droughts worsen agriculture suffers, which can hurt those involved in the affected areas. The change in population in three of the six counties was a direct affect of moisture availability (145). With the rapid expansion of the Southeast and Southwest regions, the problems of droughts in these regions are only going to worsen. “Populations of agricultural regions are vulnerable to changing drought conditions, thus these vulnerabilities could increase if future droughts are more intense or frequent” (145).
In this article I do agree with the conclusion that droughts will become more of a problem in the future. High population and the increase demand of water for agriculture will cause theses droughts to worsen. This article relates to my topic because the study conducted was located in the Midwest and explains why the droughts occurred in those six states. Pitt , D. (2013, August 30). Midwest drought: Hot, dry spell brings back crop concerns. Retrieved from http://www.wunderground.com/news/midwest-drought-returning-20130830 Droughts have been going on in the Midwest for many centuries now. States like “Des Moines, Iowa has seen under an inch of rain for the month”(Pitt, 2013). With temperatures soaring up to 100 degrees in certain areas, the odds of the hot spell to subside are slim. In Iowa they have had an unusually wet spring and a hot, dry summer. A consequence to having a wet spring and hot dry summer is that the soil dries out. Farmers that grow corn and soybean crops have suffered due to the unusual climate change. The perfect storm of a wet spring and dry summer has resulted in significant lowered crop yield. The affects from the droughts due to a “shortage of corn and soybeans from a bad year would likely have a more immediate impact on meat prices”(Pitt, 2013). The lack of rain is one of the many problems famers have been facing when dealing with the droughts. This article does show the affects of droughts across the Midwest and the effects on agriculture. For example, the lower crop...
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