Michigan farmers adjusting to climate change

Aug 5, 2014

Opinions vary on whether changes in agriculture driven by climate change are positive or negative.
Credit Flickr - Parker Knight

If you’ve found yourself putting on a sweater or light jacket on cool evenings this summer, you’ve probably wondered what’s going on with the weather. The polar vortex that visited us so harshly last winter made a return visit a few weeks ago, dropping temperatures below normal. It turns out that there’s at least one upside to climate change; one that could help our farm economy.

At the end of June, the US Department of Agriculture published its crop acreage report. It showed a record number of acres of corn, soybeans and wheat were planted this spring in Michigan. Some believe climate change is lengthening growing seasons and making more land receptive to crops, but others aren’t quite so sure global warming is the reason. To learn more, Current State’s Kevin Lavery spoke with Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association, and Laura Campbell, manager of the Agricultural Ecology Department at the Michigan Farm Bureau.

This segment is supported by Michigan State University's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. More news about the Great Lakes environment can be found at GreatLakesEcho.org and on Current State every Tuesday as part of our partnership.