skip to Main Content

Solar Eclipse Crossing U.S. Today

NBC News’ Denise Chow and Lucas Thompson report that “a total solar eclipse will cross North America on Monday (today), offering millions a rare opportunity to see afternoon skies temporarily darken as the moon blocks the face of the sun.”

“The eclipse’s path fortuitously cuts across Mexico, 15 U.S. states and a small part of eastern Canada,” Chow and Thompson reported. “In all other states in the continental U.S., viewers will be treated to a partial solar eclipse, with the moon appearing to take a bite out of the sun and obscuring part of its light.

Successful Farming’s Lisa Foust Prater reported that “totality will last 4 minutes, 28 seconds as it enters Texas around 1:30 p.m. CDT, and 3 minutes, 21 seconds as it exits Maine just over an hour later. The entire experience, from the beginning to the end of the partial eclipse in the path of totality, however, will be around 2 hours and 20 minutes.”

Path of the April 8 solar eclipse. Courtesy of NASA.
How the Eclipse will Affect Ag

The Finger Lakes Times’ Emma Wilson reported that, “with total eclipses being so rare, there has been little research on how they affect agriculture. However, they are known to affect animal behavior.”

“More intelligent animals typically have more of a reaction to eclipses according to Dr. Duncan, faculty in the Astrophysics and Planetary Science Department at the University of Colorado,” Wilson reported. “Animals may associate the dark with nightfall, cows at pasture may return to the barn, and nocturnal and crepuscular animals may start to emerge. Bees have been found to stop buzzing and returning to their hives during eclipses.”

Foust Prater reported that “researchers at (the University of Kentucky) are asking for the public’s help in observing behavior changes (or lack thereof) when it comes to feeding, sleeping, movement, and vocalization in livestock, poultry, pets, and wildlife as the eclipse passes through eight of the state’s counties. They are also interested in productivity changes, indications of confusion, and other behavioral changes.”

Farms Taking Advantage with Agritourism

Foust Prater reported that “some farmers have take advantage of being in the path of totality and turned the eclipse into a niche market for their business. For example, Stuckey Farm in Sheridan, Indiana, is hosting a 1980s-themed ‘Total Eclipse of the Farm’ event, complete with boombox bounce houses, music, and a market where attendees can buy souvenirs and food items from the farm.

“Niederman Family Farm in Liberty Township, Ohio, is also hosting a ‘Total Eclipse of the Farm’ event with a low ropes course, playhouses, yard games, putt-putt golf, and more activities and concessions,” Foust Prater reported.

Clouds in the Forecast

Reuters’ Steve Gorman reports, however, that “cloudy skies forecast for Monday could spell disappointment for many of the millions of North Americans hoping to glimpse the continent’s first total solar eclipse since 2017, possibly turning this spellbinding celestial phenomenon into a dud.”

“Much of Texas, considered prime eclipse-viewing territory by many traveling there for the occasion, was predicted in forecast models on Friday to have cloud cover of 60%-80% on eclipse day,” Gorman reported. “Parts of northern New England, by comparison, looked far more promising. The probability for clear skies was also improving across the middle Mississippi Valley and western Ohio Valley, including Indianapolis, according to the National Weather Service.”
Times of the solar eclipse in U.S. cities. Courtesy of NASA.

Ryan Hanrahan is the Farm Policy News editor and social media director for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked in local news, primarily as an agriculture journalist in the American West. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri (B.S. Science & Agricultural Journalism). He can be reached at

Back To Top