Early Saturday morning, I awakened to the sound of something I hadn’t heard in a while – a thunderstorm, and a fairly significant one. The room was lighting up with the flashes on lightning outside, and the rain continued off and on for almost four hours. On Saturday night, another series of thunderstorms rolled through the St. Louis metropolitan area. All told, the area received more than two inches of desperately needed rain.
For city and suburban residents, the drought concerns have been centered on trees, gardens and lawns. For farmers, the drought concerns have been centered on corn, soybeans, food, livelihoods and income.
The drought in the U.S. Midwest is serious. Major crops have been affected. Farmers of all kinds have been affected – small and large, organic and conventional (and GM), new and long-established, farmers who grow crops for domestic consumption and those who grow for export.
For most of us living in cities and suburbs, a severe drought doesn’t upend our lives. It may parch the lawn and be uncomfortable to be outside, but our lives go on largely unchanged.
That’s not true for farmers. Or for the communities they live in.
Monsanto today announced new commitments to farmers and their communities affected by severe drought conditions. The funding is being doubled for the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Communities program, and the company is offering additional prepay options and financing assistance to farmers in affected areas for the purchase of their seed. You can read more details at Monsanto.com.
Please remember the people who quietly and unobtrusively do so much for the rest of us – our farmers. A prayer or a hope for rain wouldn’t hurt, either.