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ISU professor says Iowa farmers already adapting to climate change

A professor from Iowa State University will tell the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday that Iowa farmers are already adapting to climate change and are using changes to increase profits and prevent losses.

Gene Takle, a professor of agronomy and geological and atmospheric sciences, will give a presentation on Thursday about how climate change is affecting farming in Iowa during the USDA’s seminar on climate change, organized by the Climate Change Program Office. Takle’s presentation will be filmed and will be available for streaming on the USDA’s website on June 13.

Takle has been researching climate change for 20 years and has found that there is a potential for higher yields because the growing season is now longer and planting occurs earlier in the season, according to a press release. Takle has also found that increases in summer rain allows for planting at higher densities, and because of increased rain in the spring, farmers are using larger machinery to get work done in briefer periods of dry weather.

Changes in climate can also have negative effects, such as more pests from increases in humidity and more drainage tile needed because of increases in precipitation, according to a release.

Takle will also tell the USDA that there is a need for farmers to understand climate change and what the future holds.

 “Based on climate models, climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the future will be more extreme than today,” he said.

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