U.S. farm landscapes could be reshaped by changing climate - research
(Reuters, 5 Oct 2020) U.S. farmers may have to switch crops in order to avoid heavy losses in a changing climate, finds research
Climate change could render swathes of agricultural land largely useless for farming in the U.S. South, and force Midwestern farmers to move corn and soybeans elsewhere as crop yields decline, researchers said on Monday.
The profits of growing six key crops are set to fall by almost a third by 2070, the research said, though losses could be reduced by shifting traditional crop heartlands - potentially reshaping distinctive regional landscapes and livelihoods.
"Our results show considerable potential from crop switching to avoid some of the damages from climate change," said Naresh Devineni, co-author of the paper and associate professor in the civil engineering department at The City University of New York.
"However, the remaining losses imply that crop switching is not a panacea and that new seed varieties and new adaptation practices are needed to support farmers and meet the food demands of the future."