Even With Two New Climate Change Reports Predicting Disastrous Weather Extremes, There Are New Opportunities For Long-Term No-Till And Cover Cropping

Killer heat waves, melting ice sheets that will raise ocean levels, higher night-time temperatures, more drought, increased humidity, stronger storms, changing rainfall patterns and new threats from weeds, pests and diseases due to changing weather conditions.

That pretty much sums up the pessimistic conclusions from two recent reports on climate change on the major challenges American agriculture will be facing during the remainder of this century. However, a careful analysis of both reports demonstrates bright spots for both no-tilling and cover cropping.

I’m convinced the expanded use of no-till acres will play a major role in overcoming not only anticipated climate change concerns, but also in finding new ways to feed the world.

How Bad Could It Be?

The two reports certainly weren’t positive about the risks of climate change on our growing need for more food. In fact, “disaster” was used a number of times in describing potential agricultural concerns.

The Risky Business Project, a nonpartisan group headed up by several national business and former government leaders, issued its report earlier this summer, Their report projects up to $106 billion in losses to coastal property that could end up being below sea level due to melting ice caps, as well as a 3% reduction in the productivity of outside workers due to more extremely hot days and a growing demand for electricity to overcome hotter weather.

The report says the Southeast could see up to 4 months with daily high temperatures reaching over 95 F by the end of…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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