Understanding Climate Adaptation in the Eastern Corn Belt

June 4, 2021

Understanding Climate Adaptation in the Eastern Corn Belt

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Understanding climate adaptation in the eastern cornbelt
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An interdisciplinary team, led by Dr. Robyn Wilson, including Byrd Center members Jason Cervenec, Dr. Bryan Mark, and Dr. Aaron Wilson, seeks to understand how farmers can adapt to changing climate conditions.

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In light of climate-induced risks and uncertainties, such as increasing extreme rainfall events and warmer temperatures, an interdisciplinary team of research, extension, and outreach professionals at Ohio State are working together to identify how to promote sustainability and resilience in the Eastern Corn Belt. The team, which is led by Dr. Robyn Wilson and includes Byrd Center members Jason Cervenec, Dr. Bryan Mark, and Dr. Aaron Wilson, seeks to understand how farmers’ can adapt to these changing conditions while supporting both agricultural production and the protection of critical ecosystem services. View these brief videos to understand the project focus, the past and expected future climate conditions, and how and what farmers plan to adapt.

Our climate infographic demonstrates how mean daily maximum temperatures could increase as much as 10 degrees, while annual total precipitation could increase as much as 15 inches. These changes will impact the growing season and create challenges with water availability at different times of the year. Our farmer infographic demonstrates that the preferred adaptation strategies are installing more drainage tile, increased the use of conservation tillage, changing one’s crop insurance coverage, and retired land for conservation. These strategies are more likely to be pursued by larger farms and those directly experiencing climate impacts, and less likely among those with smaller farms, who are older and have experienced fewer impacts.

Next steps for the project include modeling the impact of climate change and related farmer adaptations on the range of ecosystem services provided by the agroecosystem, and assessing what policies or programs will increase sustainability and resilience in the Eastern Corn Belt. This project is funded by NIFA Award No. 2018-68002-27932.

Impacts of climate change on agriculture in the eastern corn belt.
Impacts of climate change on agriculture in the eastern corn belt.
Understanding Farmer Climate Adaptations for Agroecosystem Resilience
Understanding farmer climate adaptations for agroecosystem resilience.