Poor Crops Threaten to Worsen Food Crisis

Bad weather in US, Australia threatens harvests amid shortages
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 10, 2008 7:14 AM CDT
Putnam County farmer Chris Mann poses in one of his soybean fields in Cloverdale, Ind., in this Thursday, July 19, 2007 file photo.   (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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(Newser) – Amid fears of looming food shortages around the world, this year’s crops aren’t providing much hope, the New York Times reports. While farmers in America have been hit with too much rain, Australian farmers are battling the effects of drought. US farmers planted 4 million more acres this year than last, but drenched fields are preventing good results. “The anxiety level is increasing,” says a grains analyst.

“I don’t know if this is the worst year we’ve ever had, but it’s moving up the list pretty quick,” says one farmer whose corn should be a foot high by now. Much of what he's been able to plant has drowned, while surviving plants have only grown a few inches. In Australia, a dry spell could reduce exportable wheat by millions of tons; in China, farmers are bracing for unseasonable rain.