Wildfires take a toll on farmland in the western Corn Belt

Wildfires are taking a toll on the western Corn Belt. This month alone, more than 140,000 acres of farmland have been burned. The Nebraska Emergency Management Agency says fires have been reported in more than 15 counties. Two of the largest fires merged together and consumed almost 80,000 acres. A small fire in northwest Nebraska burned a dairy farm, killing 100 calves and destroying 900 calf hutches and a hay barn. The state is still at risk for more wildfires in the coming weeks.

In response, the U.S. Forest Service is asking Congress for about a billion dollars more than last year’s funding to help end the wildfire crisis. The service wants to hire 11,000 more workers to help.

The Forest Service Chief told a House Appropriations Subcommittee what is at stake if they fail to address the crisis.

“We know what’s at stake if we don’t address the wildfire crisis. The health of our communities, clean water, the camping trips, the wood product, jobs that Americans depend on for the National Forest and Grasslands to provide. The risk of facing these lands is so significant and growing. That’s why we need to act now. We need to act together and act with dedication to meet the challenges before us with sound science as our guide.”

This year’s fire season started earlier than any previous year noted on record. The Plains are being hit especially hard.


Wildfire rages in Nebraska, killing fire chief/farmer

Farm Bureau offers a wildfire update and its impact on Arizona agriculture

Yuma, Colorado producer offers wildfire update


Cattle producers recently promoted U.S. beef on a trip to Japan and Korea with the U.S. Meat Export Federation.
After years of drought, farmers across U.S. farm country are getting so much rainfall that it’s dampening their spring planting progress later into the season.
According to USDA experts, Brazil and Argentina’s large drop in corn production has more to do with the economics of corn markets than impacts from weather.
According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, no part of Iowa is experiencing extreme levels of drought for the first time in nearly two years.