During the American Sugarbeet Growers Association’s annual meeting, attendees considered how climate risks impact agriculture’s future. “This is about understanding the evidence in front of us, the observations we have and putting the pieces together,” said Bill Hohenstein, director, USDA Office of Energy and Environmental Policy. “Several things are clear including concentrations of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide in particular, increasing in the atmosphere. That’s been happening since the early 1900s. This creates longer growing seasons and longer frost-free periods. Climate change is also looking at changes in precipitation patterns.” Hohenstein said the USDA is building capacity to provide improved access to climate information and tools to help farmers in decision making and welcomes input from farmers and ranchers.
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