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: Be a responsible camper

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

Be a responsible camper

38 minutes ago

When you camp out, take steps to reduce your impact on the environment, experts advise.

Japan eyeing 26% greenhouse gas cut: officials

May 01, 2015

Japan is planning to pledge a 26 percent cut in its greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 levels, ahead of a global summit on climate change this year, officials said Friday.

Unforeseen dangers in a global food system

May 01, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's claim during a recent blizzard that food delivery bikes were not emergency vehicles caused a small disruption in the City's normally fast, abundant and inexpensive access ...

Emissions from natural gas wells may travel far downwind

May 01, 2015

Emissions linked to hydraulic fracturing, the method of drilling for natural gas commonly known as "fracking," can be detected hundreds of miles away in states that that forbid or strictly control the practice, ...

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.