Climate Change and Its Effect on Agriculture

Post by Seacoast Eat Local Intern: Samantha

Climate change has been a hot topic in recent years, and for good reason. Climate carries massive importance to agriculture by managing and enhancing crop production. Something people often overlook is how minor changes in the climate can introduce problems for farmers. Some of these problems include the introduction of new pests to a farm. The nation already relies too much on fertilizers and pesticides because of the increase in pest and insect population. Therefore, farms that do not use pesticides and focus on providing quality organic products can be impacted in major ways due to new pests finding a home in their farms. Not only are the insects and pests an issue but they can introduce disease to various crops. If the temperatures remain warmer the disease can spread more rapidly and easily. Temperature and rainfall changes will damage the way the crops grow and how well the crops sustain fruit, vegetation, and nutrition. Future rainfalls are going to be more intense with heavier downpours or even long droughts. Timing of rainfalls and snow are going to lead to uneven water availability and needs across the region. Additionally, changes in temperatures and rainfall increases the chance of wildfires and ozone pollution. Climate change’s effect on farms can even impact the nutritional quality of food. If the plant is not receiving the proper carbon dioxide levels, rain, or is exposed to dangerous pests and disease it can have lower nutritional values.

In conclusion, the number of crops from the country are expected to decline because of increased temperatures, changes in water availability, disease and pests. Climate change is expected to make agricultural goods change in availability and increase in price. Everyone needs to make a change to help reduce climate change and continue to support local farmers’ markets and farms. Understanding how climate change can impact local farms can help raise an awareness of the issue.

Read more about climate change and its impact on agriculture here: https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2019/august/climate-change-likely-to-have-uneven-impacts-on-agricultural-productivity/

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