Many farmers are skeptical of the idea that human activities cause climate change.
$60 million are being invested by the federal government on three major studies on the effects of climate change on crops and forests in hopes of ensuring farmers and foresters can continue producing food and timber while limiting the impact of a shifting environment.
Midwestern corn will be the subject of one study, wheat will be the focus in the Northwest, and a third study will determine the effects on Southern pine forests. The studies will attempt to combine crop and climate researchers from a wide variety of fields and encourage them to find solutions appropriate to specific geographic areas.
"Shifting weather patterns already have had a big effect on U.S. agriculture, and the country needs to prepare for even greater changes," explains Roger Beachy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Some areas may gain longer growing seasons or suffer more frequent floods, while others may experience more droughts or shorter growing seasons,
Beachy adds, "Different areas will need different solutions. Some areas may gain longer growing seasons or suffer more frequent floods, while others may experience more droughts or shorter growing seasons."
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