Market News & Headlines >> Climate Change and Agriculture

One of the widely agreed upon effects of climate change is an increase in severe weather events, as outlined by Simon Atkins of Advanced Forecasting Corporation in our April 15 Market Edge presentation. He used the chart below from Munich RE reinsurance company as one illustration of how the number of damaging events has grown over the past three decades. Storms and floods have increased the most in recent years, but climatological events such as extreme temperatures, drought and fires increased after 1986 and have remained at higher levels than the first years on the graph.

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In its effort to assess how U.S. agriculture will be affected by climate change, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $6 million to 10 universities for studies on that topic and to develop information and strategies for farmers and ranchers. Mentioned as changes to be addressed are longer growing seasons and the increased number of extreme weather events.

Among the projects:

- first climate adaptation tools for beef production systems in the form of water management resources and lead to the development of beef cattle that are adaptable to climate change induced drought (Oklahoma State University)

- evaluate the resiliency of rice production with increasing climate uncertainty by developing models integrating historical rice yield data at the county and farm level, weather variables, and genotypic parameters (Cornell University) - strengthen farm operators' capacity to manage cropping systems’ adaptation to climate change by providing real-time online decision making tools (Pennsylvania State University)

- define the effects of hot and cold temperatures on turkey growth and development and develop management practices to mitigate these effects (Michigan State University)

- study the effect of climate change on interactions among solitary pollinator bees, bee parasites and crops (West Virginia University)

More information on USDA grants:

For more details from Simon Atkins, a climate risk economist, sign up for one of our summer seminars, where he is a confirmed speaker.