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S&P Capital IQ; Chart: Axios Visuals

This year’s extreme weather, caused by climate change, is impacting crops to extremes that farmers haven't seen in their lifetimes.

Catch up quick: Prolonged heat waves and droughts have caused this year's corn, soybean, almond, honey, citrus and avocado production to crash and prices to skyrocket.

  • Hurricane Ida dealt the latest blow: Key agricultural ports in New Orleans are now shut, trapping corn, grain and soy exports — this time sending futures contracts down in expectation of a supply glut.

Why it matters: Some farmers, already hard hit by the health and economic effects of COVID-19, are debating whether they should continue farming at all

What they're saying: “In a normal year we might see one hot spell, or we might see one dry spell, or one cold spell, we’ve had all those this year,” Mark Mueller, director of the Iowa Corn Growers Association, told KCRG in Cedar Rapids.

By the numbers: The median prices of corn and soybeans remain near their highest points this year. In the late spring, they'd risen nearly 63% and 48%, respectively, since August 2020, according to S&P Capital IQ. 

  • The price of wheat rose about 40% since last year but has since come down a bit.

The big picture: Hunger was already on the rise before the pandemic. The world can't afford food production issues when the health crisis and supply chain-related problems haven't yet been resolved.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Natural gas price surge puts new focus on LNG

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new analysis argues U.S. domestic natural gas prices are no longer untethered from the growth of liquefied natural gas exports.

Driving the news: The Center for Strategic and International Studies' Nikos Tsafos points out that for most of the five years since U.S. LNG exports began, there was basically no relation to prices.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 5, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Global energy crunch pushes prices up in U.S., Europe

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

European natural gas prices soared to fresh records this morning while U.S. oil prices are at seven-year highs, the latest signs of convulsions in the global energy system that could shake climate policies.

By the numbers: Via Bloomberg, benchmark Dutch gas futures rose another 18% in trading today, with British prices seeing a similar bounce.

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.