Climate change could make farming a hard row to hoe

Feb 01, 2019, 7:06 AM EST
(Source: Airwolfhound/flickr)
(Source: Airwolfhound/flickr)

Agriculture is already bearing the brunt of climate change. As the farmers’ encounter with erratic patterns of extreme heat, drought, wildfires and heavy downpours more frequently, so do their challenges to protect their crops and livestock.

The farmers in many places across the U.S. are finding it really hard to deal with the capricious nature of weather, with early springs proving ruinous to wheat crops while heatwaves coinciding with summers damaging corns and soybeans crops, notes Seeker.

The hardships are not limited to a whimsical weather but also a host of other threats it brings along. New diseases and pests thrive in changing conditions, leaving no options for farmers but to test alternatives, be it about shifting to other crops or changing their long-established practices and methods.

The farmers in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu are showing how agriculture can respond to climate change, taking a cue from natural forests, reports The Wire. They have come up with the concept of “food forests,” which are a layered cropping system, comprising of tall fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, root crops and others, designed for high yield with limited resources.