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ENVIRONMENTMidwest Farms Suffer the Intensity of Climate Change

Maureen SantosDecember 17, 20182097 min

Climate change has a broad impact all over the world especially in the agricultural sector. 

In the US alone, farming communities have been suffering the severe impact of climate change. The event is menacing how farmers procure their source of revenue. This is according to the research conducted by the scientists at Cornell University.

It is a false impression that farmers are climate deniers since they are the first ones to detect even the minute changes that constitute to the major transformations on how they manage their business.

Cornell University Assistant Professor Ariel Ortiz-Bobea said, “We’re trying to get a big picture idea of what is going on. The data capture every state’s agriculture over the past 50 years. If you see in the aggregate data that something big is happening, this really captures massive processes that are affecting many people at the same time.”

Ortiz-Bobea noted that field crops such as corn and soybeans in the Midwest have become constantly susceptible to more scorching summers. The information illustrates that from 1960 to 1970, 2ºC climb in moderate temperatures in the summer manifested in an 11% fall in productivity. But after 1983, the exact accumulation in temperature drove productivity to plunge 29%.

The report “Growing Climatic Sensitivity of U.S. Agriculture Linked to Technological Change and Regional Specialization” was published in Science Advances. It identifies the particular US regions that are increasingly becoming vulnerable to intense climate disturbances and the Midwest is one of them.

One reason why Midwest is becoming more unprotected to extreme climate fluctuations is that its agricultural business is steadily focused in crop production like non-irrigated oilseed and cereal crops.

Missouri river valley crop farmer, Richard Oswald already realized the effects of climate change since 2011. His farm became submerged for most of the time and his corn crops were lost. During that time, Missouri proclaimed a state of emergency. Tons of crops were destroyed or never planted while prices of grains soared. It was a historic flooding though but Oswald perceived it as a change in weather patterns which compelled him to have a different approach in farming.

He said that torrentials rains and heavy snow in Montana and the Dakotas generated a massive amount of water. The flood lasted for about four months.

On November 23, the National Climate Assessment (NCA) cautioned about ‘extensive destructions’ throughout the US in the next decades from flourishing wildfires in the West to swamping in the East. However, the extremest accumulation in temperatures will be between the coast. The Midwest experiences more prolonged and hotter summers and at the same time endures more intense rains and drought (El Niño) that consistently are forecasted to notably lessen US agricultural production.

Clearly, climate change will make more difficult to cultivate crops. Besides, plants that will successfully grow are likely to become susceptible to disease and pests attack due to the rising humidity. According to the 1,600-page report by 13 federal agencies, heat and fading air quality will have an effect on livestock. Farmers are expected to spend billions of dollars to adjust. The aftermath has been observed from longer and drier seasons in Kansas and heavy rains in Iowa.

A couple of farmers are putting up drainage systems to manage with the higher rainfalls. they know that it is a sign that climate change is going to stay. Others are purchasing new pricey equipment that will enable them to grow more seeds in the diminishing windows between rains.

If nothing significant has to be done with climate change, more nations around the world will be submerged in floods during rainy days. Likewise, other states will experience drier spells that could scorch crops.

Maureen Santos

She lets everyone become aware of what is happening to our beloved planet Earth and its inhabitants. She can take you beyond the space and find out how neighbor planets are doing. Moreover, she would open your eyes to the things what makes the Earth suffer including the living species and allow you to decide what you can do to help save the planet and the future generation.

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