Report: Climate change creates challenges

A new report on the risks of climate change to the U.S. economy contains some fairly dire predictions for agricultural production.

The report, entitled Risky Business, says production of corn, soy, wheat and cotton could decline by 14 percent by mid-century and up to 42 percent by late in this century as extreme heat spreads across the middle of the country.

But according to Greg Page, executive chairman of Cargill, who served on the Risky Business advisory committee, those predictions do not take into account agriculture’s ability to adapt to and mitigate the impact of climate change.  Page believes that will happen, just as it has in the past.

“The adaptive responses we expect that will occur include changes in the number of crops per year, the amount of double cropping that may take place as a result of modestly warming temperatures and changes in crop phenotypes,” Page says, “and the list goes on of the ways in which agriculture and its supply chain partners will come together to adapt and mitigate some of the potential climate scenarios that have been projected.”

The reports predicts that crop yields in the Midwest and southern U.S. will be negatively impacted by increased drought and flooding.  At the same time, warmer temperatures and carbon fertilization may improve agricultural productivity and crop yields in the upper Great Plains and other northern states.

AUDIO: Excerpts from Greg Page’s conference call with ag reporters (19:03 MP3)

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published.


Stay Up to Date

Subscribe for our newsletter today and receive relevant news straight to your inbox!

Brownfield Ag News