A study led by Cornell found that Midwest agriculture is increasingly vulnerable to climate change, according to reporting on the University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences website.
The study, led by Ariel Ortiz-Bobea and titled Growing climatic sensitivity of U.S. agriculture linked to technological change and regional specialization, was published in Science Advances in December. In the Midwest, according to the study, rain-fed field crops like corn and soybeans are increasingly vulnerable to warmer summers, which are, in turn, occurring on an increasingly frequent basis.
A contributing factor, Ortiz-Bobea explained in the article, is that crops in the Midwest are increasingly specialized, with soybeans and corn accounting for more of the agriculture today than 40 years ago. “That has implications for the resilience to climate of that region,” Ortiz-Bobea was quoted as saying, “because they’re basically putting all their eggs in one basket, and that basket is getting more sensitive.”
For more on the study, including why farmers in the west, southwest, and southern plains are more resistant to climate change, read the full article by David Nutt.