Vimeo/The Story Group
Rain saturates the soil, preventing roots from forming, and promoting disease.

Video: Iowa Farmer Sees Climate Changes Accelerate Alarmingly


Like many indigenous experts and environmentalists, Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser sees climate changes affecting the very way he conducts business and cares for his crops.

RELATED: Indigenous Perspectives Fill Entire October Issue of Peer-Reviewed Climate-Change Journal

“Another day of rain, another day of working inside, another day that we can’t take care of the crops,” he says in this video from The Story Group highlighting the main points of a chapter in the National Climate Assessment released last year by the administration of Barack Obama. “You wonder how you’re going to take care of the crop the way it should be taken care of.”

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Video: National Climate Assessment Focuses on Natives Bearing the Brunt

This snippet opens with rain, rain and more rain. It streams down, plops into numerous puddles, drips off leaves that look as though they've had enough.

Overall, water is a good thing. But there are good things, and there is too much of a good thing. Too much water saturates the soil and prevents roots from forming the way they should. This means they can’t draw the nutrients that the plant above them needs.

Having farmed in Iowa for 35 years—since he was 15—Gaesser has planted and harvested 46 crops. Change is one thing, he notes. It is inevitable that things change, since that is what’s required for anything to grow, mature and be harvested, and he is constantly adapting to changes as a matter of course, he says. But these changes are different.

“It just seems that we’re having more extreme events,” he says, adding that the volatility has been extreme, with events such as three, four, five inches of rain in an hour, or even more at time. “And those are just not normal.”

Besides compromising roots, the excess moisture brings disease to corn and soybeans, he says. He describes his metamorphosis from someone who thought climate change was just about fear-mongering to get farmers to spend money on new technologies, to a witness of the actual events. And now he finds himself forced to adapt daily.

“Whether it’s heat, or cold, or too much rain, or not enough rain,” he says, the changes have multiplied his expenses five times over the past 10 years as he has added equipment to make better use of a shorter planting and harvesting time window, to being more mindful of soil cover as serious rain events threaten it, to installing pipe systems to take water away from the plants—reverse irrigation, if you will.

Adapting to constant change is “really natural for us,” he says. “What is unnatural is the fast pace that we’re having to adjust to.”

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Sammy7's picture
Submitted by Sammy7 on
If a lilly pad on a pond doubles in size each day for thirty days, on what day will it cover half the pond? The answer is the twenty ninth day. It only takes one day to overwhelm the pond. The same is true for climate change, it is very slow at first, then suddenly it overwhelms us. This farmer is a good example of that. He "chose" to ignore the warnings. He failed to "think". Now he is trying to keep up with the speed of climate change. In my opinion it is unlikely he will ultimately be successful. Corporate farming, complemented by expensive heavy machinery and toxic sprays is now likely a dead end. To be a successful farmer in the future requires that one be a thinker, be nimble, be deeply sensitive to the changes of Mother Earth, and to be of a human scale so that the crops can be attended to appropriately. Organic farming is labor intensive, and therefore practiced on smaller plots of land. It is also far more productive per acre than corporate farms. More and more farmers will be needed to meet the food needs of the world population, especially in times of chaos via climate change. We are returning to the land. As we walk in the lower world and seek to understand the darkness, to once again emerge into the light will require us to think and be willing to adjust to the changes, and ask Spirit for guidance.

ArrowD's picture
Submitted by ArrowD on
I see it too in central Idaho... how come no body is talking about chemtrails? We are sprayed daily. Is this the cause or the cure? Why do they think its ok to spray the people with aluminum and barium? Direct hits have killed some gardens. Monsanto is working on creating gmo aluminum tolerant seed. Water samples in Shasta County show high concentrations of these metals. for more info.