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Future of agriculture: Report to address climate change impacts on Hoosier farms

Hoosier farmers will have to adapt management practices and the types of crops they plant over the next several decades as they deal with the repercussions of climate change. That’s according to a new report from the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment team based at Purdue University.

The report, “Indiana’s Agriculture in a Changing Climate,” will be released during a community briefing from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, July 31, at the Indiana Corn and Soybean Innovation Center, 4750 U.S. 52, West Lafayette. The event is open to the public.

Rising temperatures and an earlier beginning to the frost-free season could beneficially expand the growing season in some parts of the state. However, heat and changes in precipitation patterns will create challenges for most sectors of Indiana agriculture.

“This report helps us understand how climate change will affect Indiana agriculture and gives us a sense of some of the adjustments that might need to be made,” said Jeff Dukes, director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center. “The report includes specific information on potential opportunities and drawbacks to row and specialty crops, soil health and livestock.”

Purdue researchers specializing in agricultural water management, soil health, crop growth, crop diseases, invasive species, agricultural economics, heat stress and animal health contributed to the report. The lead author is Laura Bowling, professor of agronomy.

The Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA) has compiled the latest scientific research into a series of easily understandable reports about climate change impacts in ten topic areas: climate, health, forest ecosystems, aquatic ecosystems, urban green infrastructure, tourism and recreation, agriculture, water resources, energy, and infrastructure. 

The reports that have been previously released are available on the IN CCIA website at http://IndianaClimate.org. For more information about the IN CCIA, go to the website or follow on social media at @PurdueCCRC, #ClimateChange, #INCCIA. 

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