Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg
UMD and Cornell researchers recently found that the changes in our U.S. agricultural industry, including a tendency to plant more specialized rain-fed crops like corn and soybeans, has made yearly outputs increasingly variable and more vulnerable to a changing climate. The Midwest region is particularly at risk due to their reliance on these types of crops and lack of access to water in increasingly common drought conditions. UMD’s Agricultural & Resource Economics is at the forefront of this work, pioneering new productivity calculations to include weather data in a way that hasn’t historically been addressed. This gives a clearer picture of the U.S. agricultural industry and what steps can be taken to prepare for future climate conditions.