Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

How Obama's Climate Hubs Will Help Farmers Battle Climate Change

Climate

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The Obama Administration couldn't afford to wait on Congress to take the country's latest action on climate change.

In an effort to understand and address the impact climate has on farmers in different areas, the administration announced the formation of of seven climate hubs in various regions of the U.S. The end game is aiding farmers and ranchers in fighting the floods, droughts and other conditions that are increasingly intensified by global warming.

"We’ve obviously seen a significant number of severe storms; very early snowstorms that devastated livestock in the Dakotas; the recent drought in California, which is now going into its third year, but now very intense—is a reflection of the changing weather patterns that will indeed impact and affect crop production, livestock production, as well as an expansion of pests and diseases that could compromise agriculture and forestry," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, according to a transcript from a White House press briefing.

The hubs are in: Ames, IA; Durham, NH; Raleigh, NC; Fort Collins, CO; El Reno, OK; Corvallis, OR; and Las Cruces, NM. Vilsack also announced three substations in California, Michigan and Puerto Rico.

The hubs and substations will perform a risk analysis of crop production and forestry as they relate to changing climates, Vilsack said.

Vilsack began his statement by using numbers to show the importance of the hubs. He estimated that 51 percent of the country's landmass is engaged in either agriculture or forestry. Additionally, agriculture employs 16 million people are employed and represents about 5 percent of the gross domestic product.

"So, what impacts agriculture and forestry matters," he said.

Also, 14 percent of all manufacturing in the U.S. is tied to agriculture, forestry and food processing.  

"(The analysis) will establish the vulnerabilities that we have in each region of the country," he said. "We’ll determine from those vulnerabilities strategies and technologies and steps that can be taken to mitigate the impacts and effects of climate change, as well as adapting to new ways of agriculture."

The hub program will also give the administration a chance to take advantage of partnerships with land-grant universities, other federal agencies, and the private and nonprofit sectors. The hubs will be reviewed every five years.

“For generations, America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” Vilsack said. “Today, they face a new and more complex threat in the form of a changing and shifting climate, which impacts both our nation’s forests and our farmers’ bottom lines.”

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Spring Break vs. COVID19: The Real Impact of Ignoring Social Distancing

By Eoin Higgins

A viral video showing cell phone data collected by location accuracy company X-Mode from spring break partiers potentially spreading the coronavirus around the U.S. has brought up questions of digital privacy even as it shows convincingly the importance of staying home to defeat the disease.

Read More Show Less
Aerial shot top view Garbage trucks unload garbage to a recycle in the vicinity of the city of Bangkok, Thailand. bugto / Moment / Getty Images

German researchers have identified a strain of bacterium that not only breaks down toxic plastic, but also uses it as food to fuel the process, according to The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a policy memo yesterday that is an expansive relaxation of legally mandated regulations on polluting industries, saying that industries may have trouble adhering to the regulations while they are short-staffed during the coronavirus global pandemic, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
Hurricane Dorian was one of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season's most devastating storms. NASA

2019 marked the fourth year in a row that the Atlantic hurricane season saw above-average activity, and it doesn't look like 2020 will provide any relief.

Read More Show Less

The deep, open ocean may seem like an inhospitable environment, but many species like human-sized Humboldt squids are well-adapted to the harsh conditions. 1,500 feet below the ocean's surface, these voracious predators could be having complex conversations by glowing and changing patterns on their skin that researchers are just beginning to decipher.

Read More Show Less