Articles, Blog

USDA Reports Say Climate Change Will Affect Agriculture, Forests

August 24, 2019


Two U.S. Department of Agriculture reports
say U.S. agriculture and forests are being affected and will continue to be affected
by climate change. It’s well documented that the climate is changing, that we are
seeing changes in temperature and in changes precipitation patterns, and that those changes
are having implications for forests and for agriculture. What these reports actually look
at in more detail are the changes that we expect in changes in terms of extreme events.
Changes in the probability of droughts, and floods and how that also will have implications
for our resources. However, Hohenstein (ho-en-stine) says existing and new conservation practices
and research will help U.S. agriculture and forestry adapt to climate change. As it turns
out a lot of the conservation practices that we’ve been preaching for the last century,
improved soil quality, improved water management, forest health, turn out to be the exact same
things that we do to make our resources more resilient to extremes and change. If we can
breed crops to be more resilient to change, and to have better tolerance to extreme temperatures
during those critical times, we can make sure that we are going to be able to continue to
produce the kinds of crops that we do now. There are certain breeds of livestock that
are more tolerant to warm temperatures, and then there’s also things that farmers can
do like cooling systems for barns and investments that they can make to make their livestock
more tolerant. Hohenstein says while there will be negative effects from climate change,
some agriculture sectors could benefit. Longer growing seasons. In some cases increases in
precipitation and more moisture that’s available. And then CO2 itself; carbon dioxide turns
out to have a fertilizing effect on plants and so it can increase plant growth. And so
at least over the next twenty to thirty years we expect to see a very mixed story in terms
of how climate change plays out on the landscape. The climate change reports are available on
USDA’s website. In Washington D.C. for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I’m Bob
Ellison.

4 Comments

  • Reply MrILoveTheAnts February 15, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    So what crops are benefiting from climate change?

  • Reply Michael Bass February 16, 2013 at 2:04 am

    Gosh is this guy doing nothing more than trying to guarantee his new annual budget?

  • Reply puddingpimp February 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Google: "Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation" it is USDA Technical Bulletin 1935

    It largely says climate modelling isn't high enough resolution yet to make accurate predictions affecting individual agricultural ecosystems.

  • Reply Random Studios April 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    good video

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