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The Earth is Too Hot for Farmers

The Earth is Too Hot for Farmers

The future of global food production is threatened by rising temperatures, which will not only cause a decline in crop productivity, but also reduce the physical capacity of farmers to work in the agricultural sector. In Indonesia, this phenomenon has already occurred in Berau, East Kalimantan, where farmers have to work in the early hours of the morning and in the evening until late at night to avoid the scorching sun.

The impact of global warming on the food sector is often only seen through the decrease in crop productivity due to exposure to extreme temperatures. A recent report on this matter, for example, was released by researchers from the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and Kansas State University on Friday (19/1/2024).

In this policy report, it is mentioned that for every 1 degree Celsius of warming, the yield of main crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat in the Kansas region will decrease by 16-20%. This will reduce gross agricultural income by 7% and cause a 66% drop in net agricultural income.

In this report, researchers mentioned the threshold for extreme heat that can disrupt the productivity of corn, soybeans, and wheat is 32 degrees Celsius. Harvest yields start to decline at that temperature. From 1981 to 1990, Kansas experienced 54 days of extreme heat, from 2011 to 2020 it increased to 57 days.

Research on the impact of climate change on rice plants has also been carried out. According to a report by researchers from Peking University, China and a team in the journal Nature Food on May 4 2023, the decline in rice production in China due to climate change could reach 8.1 percent by 2100. Apart from heat exposure which can trigger drought, a decrease in rice production can also be caused by extreme rain due to climate change.

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Photo Credit: gettyimages-mvburling

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Categories: Kansas, Crops, Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Sustainable Agriculture

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