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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Management of Agricultural and Natural Resource Systems to Reduce Atmospheric Emissions and Increase Resilience to Climate Change Title: Climate change and food security: Implications for U.S. production and trade

item Hatfield, Jerry
item Walthall, Charles

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 24, 2012
Publication Date: October 24, 2012
Citation: Hatfield, J.L., Walthall, C.L. 2012. Climate change and food security: Implications for U.S. production and trade. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meetings [abstracts]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting, Oct. 21-24, 2012, Cincinnati, OH. CD-ROM.

Technical Abstract: Climate change is impacting agricultural production in the United States and throughout the world. Increasing temperatures and carbon dioxide coupled with more variable precipitation are effecting production of all major crops. The rising temperatures affect production because of the effect on phenological development. The result is a shortened growth cycle of the crops and increased evaporative demand on the crop leading to increased water use. The temperature effect offsets the positive effect of rising carbon dioxide on plant growth and when extreme temperature events occur, these episodes further increase the levels of stress. More variable precipitation affects plant growth because of there is not adequate soil water available for optimum plant growth. The drought conditions of 2012 are current reminders of the extremes possible over the coming years. These effects are not isolated to the United States and will effect production throughout the world and when coupled with the population increase will affect food security. There are many areas of the world in which climate change will have a larger effect on agricultural production than the United States and this increase the potential demand for grain production. In 2011, corn, soybean, and wheat were the top three export commodities from the United States and these would increase because of population growth and potential declines in world production of these crops because of the degree of expected climate change in these production areas. Agricultural production in the United States is not isolated from the world trade and development of more resilient production systems will potentially increase the positive balance of trade.

Last Modified: 10/31/2014