The drought in the southeastern United States is becoming more severe than expected, and it has hit Alabama first.
The National Weather Service says temperatures have dropped into the low 30s.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture says a severe weather advisory has been issued for the state.
“We’re seeing the impacts of the drought on farmers, ranchers, farmers markets, farmers market vendors, and the businesses that sell food, as well as the impact on food safety and the impact of the food supply,” said Bill Burt, spokesman for the Alabama Department.
The drought has been especially devastating in southeast Alabama, where it’s impacting the economy.
“In southeast Alabama we’re seeing a lot of ranchers selling their property,” Burt said.
“And so the drought has impacted the rural economy as well.
The USDA has warned of a potential “extreme drought” across the state, which could mean a spike in food prices.”
If we continue to have a drought this extreme, it could cause people to be unable to make their monthly payments,” Burch said.
The USDA says there could be shortages of essential ingredients like milk and meat in Alabama as well, including rice and corn.”
We’ve had several food companies that are now reporting very, very low inventory,” Burden said.
The USDA says there could be shortages of essential ingredients like milk and meat in Alabama as well, including rice and corn.
Food safety experts say farmers can’t wait for a severe drought to end before they start selling their crops.
“In order to continue to meet their production requirements, these producers would be forced to take steps to reduce their waste, reduce their emissions, and reduce their impact on the environment,” said Dr. Mark Ochsner, a professor of environmental health at the University of California Davis.
“If they continue to grow and grow and then it’s not in their interest to grow, then the consequences could be devastating.”