The impact of climate change is being felt worldwide. The global temperature has risen 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since the year 1880. While this may not seem like a significant rise, climate scientists warn of the irreversible damage that has been done to the planet.
As the earth’s temperature rises, climate and weather patterns are changing rapidly. Climate change is of particular concern to agricultural businesses, which ultimately make their living based on the rhythms of nature. When these rhythms are interrupted, businesses are impacted significantly. Hakan Agro, an agricultural commodities firm, explores the reasons why climate change is of such importance to agricultural companies around the world.
1. Changes in Growing Areas
As the temperature rises, many growing areas will change. If it is too warm to plant a certain crop at the time of year it is normally planted, the agricultural company may need to consider another crop type or moving their infrastructure elsewhere. Unfortunately, with temperatures on the rise around the world, it may be difficult to determine where a more suitable location (or crop) could be.
2. Weather Patterns
Changing weather patterns may also lead to disaster for individual companies. When there is too much or too little rain in any given area, it can lead to crop failure and a great loss of money. This happened in the spring of 2019 in Ohio and Indiana, where excessive rainfall delayed or deterred the planting of crops.
Excessively dry periods can drastically impact a harvest. The almond industry uses a great deal of water, and in the California droughts of 2018, many crops were lost.
While man-made irrigation could be beneficial, it can be costly and could be problematic in the long term, to the natural ecosystem from which the water is drawn.
3. Natural Disasters
Since global warming first started to cause issues, natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes have become far more prevalent. These seasonal but unpredictable calamities cause lasting damage, destroying equipment and farmland in their wake.
4. Impact on Livestock
Livestock may also be affected by the unusually higher temperatures and may require more care than basic farming methods. The installation of expensive cooling machinery and equipment to offer some relief to the animals is a process that farmers are considering or have implemented.
5. Changing Pests
Warmer temperatures mean the migration of pests from southern climates to the cooler north where farmers are not necessarily prepared or familiar with the risks. Finding solutions to combat unexpected infestations could be problematic, costly, and time-consuming.
Steps That Can be Taken
While climate change is partly irreversible, humans can curtail their production of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases. These gases cause the atmosphere to warm by creating a barrier and preventing warm air from escaping. If local and national governments worldwide put in place strict eco-friendly laws, this increasingly concerning issue could be tempered, but would require global commitment.
It is especially important to convince climate change deniers that there is a serious problem. Many people argue against climate change as part of their ideology. Nature says otherwise, and people need to listen to the scientists who have analyzed hundreds of years’ worth of climate data.
Adaptation is Necessary
Agricultural companies need to make sure that they remain mindful of the climate changes in their respective regions, that could impact livestock and crops. Keeping across temperature fluctuations, rainfall, and hazardous weather reports can help maintain a reasonable level of care and productivity.
When businesses are mindful of the changing conditions caused by global warming, they will have a better understanding of the very real emergency that is at hand. Hakan Agro recommends that all agricultural firms study climate change and discover how it may impact their businesses in the future.