ANNALS OF SCIENCE
CLIMATE BY NUMBERS
Can a tech firm help farmers survive global warming?
It was nearly impossible to drive the back roads of southern Indiana this summer without being lulled into a trance by the monotonous perfection of the cornstalks. They lined every route, forming a canopy that stretched for miles, strong, straight, and taller than any Hoosier. In late August, the U.S. Department of Agriculture stated publicly what the growers had known for weeks: this year’s crop would almost certainly be the largest in American history.
Unpredictable weather is hardly rare, or new. For thousands of years, floods, droughts, tornadoes, heat waves, and early frosts have been agriculture’s unyielding enemies. But even the most sophisticated farmer would have trouble planning for the vagaries of today’s climate.
I think he meant to say the anals of science. It is tough planning for a record corn crop, because it makes prices go down.