This story was originally published in Modern Farmer and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate crisis.
Eerily empty, abandoned fields stretch across the coast of the southeast United States, replacing once sprawling fields of golden wheat, corn, and soybeans.
For centuries, farmers have favored the rich soil of coastal areas during the growing season. “It’s very fertile soil, especially in some areas that are called the ‘black lands.’ These are really deep organic soils that formed on the coast over millennia,” says Michael Gavazzi, coordinator of the USDA Southeast Climate Hub coordinator and natural resource specialist.
It’s a different story when the floods come in. Hurricanes and tropical storms bring torrential rain and powerful winds that cause storm surges—abnormally large waves that can tower up to 25 feet in height. The aftermath of such disasters is devastating. Crop damage and equipment loss can rack up to tho... Read more