As El Nino breaks in the Pacific it is set to be followed by a cooling of waters in the Pacific in a meteorological phenomenon known as La Nina. For the American Corn Belt this shift bring the potential for still further pain in a season which already has farmers scrambling in loss control mode. Depending on the degree of cooling in the Pacific the La Nina phenomenon may have a range of effects on the temperature and wind speed1 in the Middle West, but summertime La Nina events reduce reduce rainfall in a region where irrigated fields are the exception rather than the rule. A drought event in 2012 absolutely decimated crop yields due to the region's dependence on rainfall to water crops.
While a season of failed crops could otherwise get farmers to finally deliver their glut of stored grains waiting for more favorable prices to market, the more likely scenario is a continued increase in imports of staple and fodder crops. Thanks to "progress" the problem of endemic2 obesity is likely to continue to grow.
Yes, La Nina has ways of making Iowa in particular suffer exceptionally. ↩
The reality that this problem is here to stay precludes referring to it as an epidemic. Epidemics pass. ↩