Market News & Headlines >> Climate Change Already Affecting U.S. Ag
A panel of experts, including an Iowa farmer, ahead of the release of the National Climate Assessment chronicled some of the changes already happening and adaptations already being employed by farmers:
- Cherry trees in some areas are not getting the dormant season 900 chill hours they require.
- Wet regions more wet, dry regions more dry - More rain first 1/2 of year, less in second 1/2
- Wetter springs = bigger machinery to plant in a shorter time, more tiling. Missing the right window can be difference between a crop and no crop
- Other agronomic changes: Higher plant populations, more fungicide applications, bigger bean heads
- Logistics disruptions: e.g. Miss. River closings, blizzards stopping trains
- Less well studied: Changes in quality/content of crops, such as protein
By mid-century, adaptation will be insufficient to avoid losses, according to Eugene Takle, director of the climate science program at Iowa State University.