Canada’s record-setting wildfires will continue; how is it impacting crops?

Canada’s record-setting wildfires will likely continue for several more weeks.

Canadian Forest Service officials say the most recent projections show higher-than-normal fire activity through August and September, with the extreme risk becoming a bit smaller next month.

More than six times the 10-year average of land has been affected across parts of nearly all 13 provinces. The EU Atmospheric Monitoring Service says Canadian fires have already released more than 25 percent of the global total carbon for the year.

How is the smoke impacting crops, though?

Bayer Crop Science says atmospheric smoke may reduce the amount of solar radiation just like cloud cover. Based on their types of photosynthesis, this will impact corn and sorghum more than soybeans and wheat. When the gases from the smoke create ozone, it interferes with photosynthesis and damages plant tissue on a cellular level. Ozone can reduce corn yield by 10 percent at the concentration it is currently being produced.