Quantcast

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

A Boeing 737-800 BCF (Boeing Converted Freighter) is marked "Prime Air" as part of Amazon Prime's freight aircraft during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France on June 22. Mustafa Yalcin / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

It's Prime Day! The day when thousands of increasingly absurd items are discounted so deeply that you suddenly need items you never knew existed. Yes, I do need a hotdog shaped toaster next to me while I watch this Fast & Furious seven movie box set! And I need it in my house today!

Read More Show Less

By Peter Sinclair

The weather in many areas across the U.S. has been – and certainly throughout America's heartland was for much of the past winter and spring – frightful.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
There's a short window between when a tick bites and when it passes on bacteria or virus. MSU Ag Communications, Courtesy Dr. Tina Nations, CC BY-ND

By Jerome Goddard

When it comes to problems caused by ticks, Lyme disease hogs a lot of the limelight. But various tick species carry and transmit a collection of other pathogens, some of which cause serious, even fatal, conditions.

Read More Show Less
tomosang / Moment / Getty Images

By Jessica A. Knoblauch

Say goodbye to one of the dreamiest things about childhood. In the Midwest, fireflies are dying off.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A new Climate Emergency Fund contains more than $625,000 which will go to grassroots climate action groups like Extinction Rebellion and students who have organized weekly climate strikes all over the world. @ExtinctionR / Twitter

By Julia Conley

Heeding the call of grassroots campaigners, several wealthy philanthropists announced Friday a new fund that will raise money for climate action groups around the world.

Read More Show Less
Skyhobo / iStock / Getty Images

The Trump administration is preparing to roll out a proposal that would remove communities' ability to officially contest decisions regarding how much pollution can be released by local power plants and factories, the New York Times reports.

Read More Show Less
In this May 10 photo oil flows at a Chevron oil field in Kern County, California. California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Office of Spill Prevention and Response

California officials ordered Chevron Friday "to take all measures" to stop a release that has spilled around 800,000 gallons of water and crude oil into a dry creek bed in Kern County, KQED reported.

Read More Show Less