When uncontrollable factors such as lack of rain cause farmers' wheat crops to fail, fertilizer and seed dealers, as...

Meredith on August 27, 2019

Why is B wrong

What makes B less correct than E?

4 Replies

Meredith on August 27, 2019

Previous explanation in the other thread still has me confused.

Irina on August 27, 2019


Let's look at (B) & (E).

When uncontrollable factors such as lack of rain cause farmer's wheat crops to fail, fertilizer and seed dealers, as well as truckers and mechanics, lose business, and fuel suppliers are unable to sell enough diesel to make a profit.

What this argument is saying is that IF wheat crops fail THEN a,b,c happens.

Which of the following follows logically:

(B) "If rainfall is below average, those businesses that profit from farmers' purchases tend to lose money."

Incorrect because we cannot infer anything from the fact that rainfall is below average alone. The stimulus tells us that if wheat crops to fail, then all these consequences follow. But do we know if the below-average rainfall will necessarily result in crops failing? Not really, the stimulus tells us "when ..lack of rain cause" suggesting it is not a sufficient condition, and the lack of rain cannot guarantee that crops will fail. There is also a separate issue of equating below average rainfall with the lack of rain, what exactly does the "lack of rain" mean? No rain at all? Below average? Significantly below average? Since we have no information to answer this question, (B) is an improper inference.

(E) "The consequences of a drought are not restricted to the drought's impact on-farm productivity."

Correct. This answer choice accurately reflects the information in the passage. (E) tells us that if there is a drought and on-farm productivity is affected, i.e. we know that crops have failed condition to be true, this will impact other downstream businesses as well. Compare it to (B) that asks you to infer that crops have failed, (E) explicitly tells you that to be the case.

Does this make sense?

Let me know if you have any further questions.

Avi on May 1, 2020

Thanks Irina! Great explanation! I too chose B but I see why E is a better answer.

Michael on May 27, 2020

Thank you for the explanation. I am still confused about what (E) is actually saying. Is it saying that the consequences of a drought affect more than the droughts impact on farm activity?