NCDC222: Adapting Agriculture to Climate Variability
Statement of Issues and JustificationStatement of Challenge:
A changing climate (natural and/or human induced) presents both threats and opportunities to agriculture in the North Central Region. Generally, climatic models predict increasing climatic variability and increased seasonal aridity on the central prairies of North America (Great Plains of USA and Prairie Provinces of Canada). Increased seasonal temperatures, increased frost-free days, increased rainfall variability, increased number of high rain-fall intensity events, increased night-time temperatures, and higher CO2 levels will have an impact on crops, livestock and biotic pests. Climatic variability has always been associated with agriculture in this region of North America. The eastern portion of the North Central Region will also have increasingly significant impacts for their agriculture associated with climate change. Climatic variability is an issue regardless of the current understanding of global temperature trends. The failure of agriculture to adapt to climatic variability will impact global food (particularly wheat and beef production), fiber, and bio-fuel security plus regional economies. A holistic approach will be paramount to sustaining agriculture and the vitality of the region in the face of climate change.
There is a significant interest in climate variability issues in the USA and Canada.
The North Central Region has accomplished a great deal in the past year on climate variability collaborations with Canada. We started with a meeting of the Prairie Provinces and Great Plains States in Fargo in September of 2009 with the purpose of identifying joint interests between our two countries on compelling climate adaption issues. Regional meetings were held in March of 2010 with over 100 in attendance at both Winnipeg and Kansas City. A follow up session was held at a Farm Foundation Roundtable this June in Winnipeg, Canada.
A number of AFRI projects and other joint ventures have been launched among the Great Plains States and the Prairie Provinces. The Agriculture Deans from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are collaborating with a number of Agriculture Deans in the North Central States and Montana.
Many in attendance in Kansas City felt that a strategy session should be held later this summer among key private sector and public sector participants to define potential collaborations with Eastern Canada and USA States interested in climate issues. Participants from Eastern Canada and the Eastern part of the North Central Region felt they would have significant joint interests in common. The Eastern Collaboration meeting will be held in Syracuse, New York on August 18-19th.
One purpose of this development committee, Adapting Agriculture to Climate Variability, will be to seek significant research funding to address the many issues associated with climate variability. This committee can also help enhance the complex collaborations that will be required for successful funding of research proposals.
See the following web link for information on March 9 Kansas City meeting:
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