Our farmers all throughout the Pacific Northwest and West are facing one of the worst droughts in a generation. In addition to drought, our local PNW farmers were hit with a late frost and unprecedented heat. We as a community need to admit three things.
1. The severity of the drought is increased because of humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels.
2. Weather volatility will increase.
3. Farmers currently hold this risk.
Kevin Klein, as mentioned in the article (“Washington wheat growers face low yields in extreme drought year,” Aug. 1), has never seen a drought like this. But he will continue to farm because he’s a 4th-generation farmer and he feeds the world.
I believe that the climate crisis is a global threat and we need to rapidly decarbonize in order to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. I also believe that we need to protect local people like Kevin Klein and others for taking undue business risk as a farmer.
A good farmer can seed at the perfect time, procure inputs at good prices, manage weeds, prepare for the unexpected. But no one can completely protect a crop from drought, frost, heat and fire. I believe that society needs to protect the farmers through additional policies and support to re-allocate the risk of feeding the world.