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Climate change could hurt Iowa’s agricultural productivity

Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) used climate projections and historical trends in agricultural productivity to predict how changes in temperature and rainfall could impact food production.

They found that without changes to farm policy and improvements to agricultural technology, the nation’s productivity in 2050 could look like it did in 1980.

Lead author Xin-Zhong Liang, a professor at the UMD, said “On the policy side, changes to water management could help. On the technology side, the development of seeds that can withstand more extremes of heat and rain would likely help mitigate the climate’s impact on overall productivity.”

The new research identifies the Corn Belt as the region where the changes could have the biggest impact on overall productivity.

This research, Liang says, “Enhances existing studies to offer a more robust picture of how total agricultural output of the country could change under different climate change scenarios.”