With #NoPlant19, Farmers on Twitter Share Images of Flood Impact on Crops
Corn and soybean plantings are significantly below where they should be.
Twitter is already a great place to see banter from fast food brands, the political opinions of bots, and paid celebrity tweets. But now, thanks to the hashtag “#NoPlant19,” it’s also a place to watch the impact of climate change on American agriculture unfold before our eyes.
Though the idea of “NoPlant” is nothing new (I found it going back as far as “#NoPlant11”), as Eater pointed out yesterday, this hashtag farmers use to denote images or musings about their inability to plant crops has been trending especially hard recently thanks to the ongoing rain and flooding in the Midwest and Plains which has significantly impacted farms in the region. As of May 26, only 58 percent of the corn set to be planted across America’s 18 most important corn-producing states has actually been sown so far this year, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. By this same date last year, that number was at 90 percent, which is the same as the previous five-year average. Soybean plantings have also been poor: 29 percent of acres had been planted by May 26 this year compared to 74 percent last year.
Needless to say, the impact of these crop issues is wide-ranging. As Bloomberg explains, corn prices are being driven up — costs that could eventually be passed on to consumers. Farmers are faced with tough decisions too: As the Des Moines Register wrote, President Trump’s trade war and resulting agricultural bailout may leave farmers choosing whether to plant to get government funds or not plant to get insurance. And speaking of politics, over at the UK’s The Guardian, Art Cullen mused over the impact all of this could have on Americans’ views on global warming and even the 2020 elections.
But in theory, assuming you trust the source of tweets, #NoPlant19 peels back a lot of these extra layers and allows people to see what farmers are seeing on the ground. From there, you can form your own opinions…