Public strongly supports programs helping farmers adapt to climate change

Jul 25, 2012

A survey conducted by Michigan State University reveals strong public support for government programs to assist farmers to adapt to climate change.

According to NASA research, have been rising for decades, and it's affecting all aspects of agriculture. Regardless of what those surveyed believe causes climate change, more than 65 percent of them support government assistance for farmers, said Scott Loveridge, MSU professor of agricultural, food and resource economics.

This year has been a particularly harsh example. This summer's drought is on much of the nation's , and close to one-third of states' counties have been declared natural and are seeking federal aid. In Michigan, record-setting temperatures in March prompted fruit trees to blossom. Freezing weather in April wiped out nearly all of the state's .

Farmers are feeling the impact now, and consumers are already seeing increased food prices, which are projected to get worse. In these tight economic times, empathy doesn't automatically translate to support for financial assistance. So Loveridge was surprised how many people support the notion of financial assistance for farmers.

"I didn't expect the strong level of public support for helping farmers adjust their production techniques to long-term changes in the climate," he said. "The overall support is likely strongly linked to concerns about recent food price fluctuations, long-term food security or recognition of agriculture's contributions to the economy."

Aid for farmers can come in a number of forms. Some examples include addressing potential threats and opportunities related to climate change, securing more support for science-based crop projections, and finding and testing varieties and techniques that will perform well in the future, Loveridge added.

Explore further: EU researchers explore pathways for transition to sustainable lifestyles

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate change threatens Amazonian small farmers

Mar 26, 2008

A six-year study of Amazonian small farmers and their responses to climate change shows the farmers are vulnerable to natural catastrophes and risky land use practices, say Indiana University Bloomington anthropologists ...

Global warming to boost Scots farmers

Aug 15, 2005

Climate change could be good news for Scottish farmers, according to ESRC funded research at the University of Stirling. Rising temperatures and increased CO2 levels could mean increased yields and a boost to local economies, ...

Recommended for you

India court slams Delhi's worsening air pollution

9 hours ago

India's environment court has slammed the government over the capital's horrendous air pollution, which it said was "getting worse" every day, and ordered a string of measures to bring it down.

US proposes stricter ozone limits

20 hours ago

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Wednesday to strengthen emission regulations for ozone, a smog-causing pollutant blamed for respiratory ailments affecting millions of Americans.

Deforestation drops 18 percent in Brazil's Amazon

23 hours ago

Deforestation in the Amazon rain forest dropped 18 percent over the past 12 months, falling to the second-lowest level in a quarter century, Brazil's environment minister said Wednesday.

The unbelievable underworld and its impact on us all

Nov 26, 2014

A new study has pulled together research into the most diverse place on earth to demonstrate how the organisms below-ground could hold the key to understanding how the worlds ecosystems function and how they ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.