Climate Change Might Vary Crop Deck

March 18, 2016 09:18 AM
Climate Change Might Vary Crop Deck

Shifts in precipitation and other factors could change farm landscape by 2080

If climate change remains on its current course (read: hotter), will there be implications on crop acres and yields? USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) thinks so. The agency spells out what changes could be afoot in a new report, “Climate Change, Water Scarcity and Adaptation.” 

Corn, soybeans, rice, sorghum, cotton, oats and silage might see lower projected yields versus no climate change, according to the report. But wheat, hay and barley could expect to see higher projected yields. Factor in shifts in irrigation profitability, precipitation patterns and other factors, and USDA-ERS is predicting a different farming landscape by 2080.

Will technology such as drought-tolerant crops come to the rescue? USDA-ERS isn’t counting out the possibility. “[Research] suggests a greater understanding of the relationship between temperature and yield and development of crop varieties whose yields are more robust to temperature stress, particularly during growth and grain-filling periods, may be critical to building resilience to climate change.”

USDA-ERS recommends developing forecasting and decision-making tools, such as temperature and precipitation predictions, to help farmers time in-season management better. Practices that improve soil moisture and retention, such as cover crops, and mitigation of production risks through insurance programs and other financial strategies will be beneficial as well. 



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Spell Check

Chappell, NE
3/18/2016 07:10 PM

  USDA will see to it that grain prices are the same in 2080 as they were in 1780. Doesn't matter in the slightest what the weather is.

Daniel White
Nampa, ID
3/18/2016 04:50 PM

  Notice how far out USDA ERS has to make their prediction. I'm guessing they need that much of a buffer when the fact of the matter is the average temperature has not increased worldwide and they are only throwing guesses out. Oh, and take a look at NASA's satellite images of ice caps growing not melting!

Nuff Said
Chestnut, IL
3/18/2016 09:29 PM

  AL Gore 1/27/06. "We've got 10 years until the earth receives a scorching". Need I say more? Ok..I will.. Can you imagine what these idiots would be like during the dust bowl!! Horses to tractors, check wire to electric planter, belt pulleys to constant variable transmissions, single cross to hybrid, insecticides to gmo, steering wheel spinner to gps, man living longer, eating better. What has gone down hill is the government, and now once again they are telling us how to live. We have come a long way in the last 75 years and have done a better job in the process. God said for man to subdue the earth..... if you think God is going to be mocked by a bunch of leftist, I've got an iceberg in Africa to sell ya!


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