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David Wolfe on crops that will be harder to grow in a warmer world

David Wolfe

David Wolfe

From National Geographic Daily News [2014-04-05]:

“The reality of climate change has already hit farms, ranches, and orchards around the globe, according to the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While some crops will grow better in a warmer world, the report found that the negative impacts—including widespread crop damage, smaller harvests, and higher food costs—far outweigh any upsides.

“The report predicts that yields of major food crops like corn, wheat, and rice are likely to start decreasing by 2030 and will continue to decline by up to 2 percent a decade.

“No particular crops are likely to disappear any time soon, says David Wolfe, professor of horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and committee member of Cornell’s Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture. Still, he predicts that farmers of the near future will likely have to take increasingly drastic and expensive measures to cope with epic droughts, summer heat, rogue frosts, and ever-changing growing seasons. ‘If it was as simple as gradual warming, farmers could plant around it,’ he says. ‘But as this global experiment has been playing out, farmers are seeing things they’ve never seen before.'”

Read the whole article.

For more on climate change and agriculture, visit the Cornell Climate Change website.

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