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Posted by Tammy Sons on Jan 30, 2016

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How El Nino Affects Growth in the US

I’m sure most of you have noticed by the now the recent climate change especially this year which may affect your crops and gardens.

El Nino can make certain weather conditions occurred around the country. For example, in the Southeast, we have experience a low in the number of tropical systems affecting the Gulf Coast.

On the other hand, El Nino has done the total opposite on the West Coast. They have experienced some of the worst weather in their history.

California has remained in drought conditions over the past few years, Hawaii is experiencing more hurricanes than usual and it hasn’t snow as much as it normally does in places like Utah and Idaho, which depends on snow for their tourist industry.

But probably the most lasting affects that El Nino has had on the US is with agriculture.

If you haven’t felt the effects on El Nino one way or another, you will soon. As we have already mentioned, California is suffering some of the worst drought conditions in over 500 years.

The affects of the drought will probably effect generations to come. But the rest of the US will feel it too in our grocery stores when the prices of strawberries, grapes and other food products made in California go sky high because of the lack of rain on the crops.

Drought conditions aren’t the only thing that can affect crops and growth, rain can also.

In most El Nino seasons, the Southeast may experience more rain than usual. So far during the summer months, the Southeast has been in a rain pattern a few times this summer where a low pressure system may sit over the region causing it to rain for days because the system moves slowly causing some flooding.

So far, conditions aren’t as dyer here than in California, but that can all change once winter is officially here. Normal conditions and weather patterns could change making it a wetter and colder weather pattern which could mean danger for some Southern crops like oranges and peaches.

The Southeast seems to take more of hit when the weather pattern is in a La Nina pattern. But in an El Nino pattern crops like corn, peanuts and cotton, may be delayed more because of the amount of rainfall.

But on the opposite end of this weather pattern, wheat seems to be more plentiful during El Nino especially in places like Alabama and Georgia.

El Nino can also bring out more fungal and bacterial diseases in vegetables like tomatoes and bell peppers.

Ironically, in a La Nina pattern, the number of diseases on fruit and vegetables are low, the insect populations however, seems to increase.

The impact of El Nino won’t be felt by the Northeast and Midwest until winter when predictions are that both regions will be batter by harsh winter conditions. I’m sure our friends in those regions of the country are probably saying, tell us something we don’t know already.

The US should consider itself lucky because it could be worse. Australia is feeling the effects of El Nino too and like California, is going through horrible drought conditions.

Since their country is much smaller than the US, the impact can be felt almost immediately across the continent.

There are some good things and bad things that can come from El Nino. Certain crops will be more plentiful than others and some parts of the country will experience worst weather conditions than usual.

All that can be done at this point is just pay attention to the weather and try to prepare your crops and gardens accordingly.