More than half of US crops failed in 2016 due to climate change, the first year the government has publicly listed the problem as a major problem.
In the first of a series of new reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it has found that 40% of citrus fruit and about 25% of grapefruit, the two most common citrus fruits, were damaged by drought.
“The Department has determined that the drought is causing widespread, serious and persistent damage to citrus crops and that a number of these crops are susceptible to disease, pests and disease-related mortality,” USDA’s website states.
“Drought stress has been documented in all parts of the United States and in many parts of Canada.”
The report, released Monday, also said more than 20% of the citrus industry’s citrus production in the US was at risk of drought, and that more than 2.5 million acres of land are at risk in the Midwest, the South and the Great Plains.
The USDA also said the citrus and grapefruit industry has been hit by drought conditions for about four decades.
“This report highlights that the U,S.
citrus industry faces unprecedented drought conditions that threaten to destroy the industry and the livelihoods of millions of people,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.”
We must address the root causes of this problem, not the causes.”
The USDA has identified a number on its website of key factors that contribute to the drought, including climate change and soil moisture.
The report comes amid renewed efforts by Trump administration officials to make the USDA a more active producer of food for the public, saying that the government’s mission should be focused on the economy.
The Trump administration has already issued an executive order calling for an increase in the number of food stamp recipients to about 24 million by 2024.