Crops

The effects of climate change on crop production will vary by region, and will largely be a factor of impacts on resources important to agricultural production, such as soil and water.

Soils provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including regulating carbon through sequestration and providing a structure to support crop plants. Erosion of soil, the primary source for soil particles to leave agricultural fields, may increase in certain areas of the U.S. due to climate change. Some areas of the country will experience less rainfall, causing soils to dry out. Combined with higher winds, this may lead to higher rates of wind erosion. Other areas may experience more intensive rainstorms, which can increase erosion rates by washing out stream banks, for example. Other factors affecting soil erosion that may increase or decrease due to climate change include changing irrigation needs, snowmelt patterns, soil erodibility, conservation practices, and topography.

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The effects of climate change on crop production will vary by region, and will largely be a factor of impacts on resources important to agricultural production, such as soil and water. Soils provide a wide variety of ecosystem services, including regulating carbon through…

One third of all of our food comes from pollinated crops.  Because increasing temperatures impact both plants and the pollinators they rely on, climate change poses a dual threat to crop production. Shifts in dates when plants flower or pollinators are present could…

Warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons offer Pennsylvania dairy farmers the ability to plant more than one crop in a season. But increasing frequency of extreme rainfall presents new challenges. Double cropping with winter annuals can increase forage production and…

  Project Area Brix Cider Farm near Barneveld, WI is home to a two-acre high density orchard consisting of apples, cherries, pears, and plums. 90% of this farm land is for apple production and the other 10% is cherry, pear, and plum production. This orchard lies in the…

  Project Area R&G Miller & Sons Inc. operates an organic dairy in the Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois Drift Plain region. This area is characterized by gently sloping ground moraines, lake plains, out-wash plains, drumlin fields, end moraines, flood plains,…

2019 has proven to be an extreme year weather-wise here in the Midwest--from extreme cold in January, the Bomb Cyclone in March, and tornadoes in April to extensive rain and subsequent flooding in May and June. The Midwest states are no strangers to disaster. As we look back on…

Growing Season Length Warmer temperatures have resulted in a longer freeze-free season and longer growing season across the region (Frumhoff et al. 2007, Kunkel et al. 2013). The freeze-free season, which is the period between the last occurrence of 32 °F in the spring and the…

The USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub (NPCH) contributed, as coauthors, to three articles in as special issue of the journal of Climatic Change on the "Vulnerability Assessment of US Agriculture and Forests developed by the USDA Climate Hubs" (January 2018, Volume 146, Issue…

What are Pollinators? Pollinators are animals (primarily insect, but sometimes birds or mammals) that fertilize plants, resulting in the formation of seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds. Humans and other animals rely on pollinators to produce nuts and fruits that are…