A recent comprehensive US Department of Agriculture study concludes rising temperatures could cost farmers millions as they battle new pests, faster weed growth and get smaller yields as climate change continues, reports Christopher Doering at USA Today. Climate change could have a drastic and harmful effect on U.S. agriculture, forcing farmers and ranchers to alter where they grow crops and costing them millions of dollars in additional costs to tackle weeds, pests and diseases that threaten their operations, the sweeping report said. It noted that although U.S. crops and livestock have been able to adapt to changes for nearly150 years, the accelerating pace and intensity of global warming during the next few decades may soon be too much for the once-resilient sector to overcome. Farmers could minimize the impact of global warming on their crops by changing the timing of farming practices and utilizing specialized crop varieties more resilient to drought, disease and heat, among other practices, the report found. But by 2050 and beyond, adaptation becomes more difficult and costly as plants and animals will have to adapt even more, making crops and livestock productivity increasingly more unpredictable.
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Study: Climate change could devastate U.S. agriculture. Climate change could have a drastic and harmful effect on U.S. agriculture, forcing farmers and ranchers to alter where they grow crops and costing them millions of additional dollars, a government report said on Tuesday. Gannett News Service http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/05/climate-change-agriculture-study/1893455/