PLEDGE NOW
Farming In Hotter Climates

We examine what a hotter, drier climate may mean for American agriculture and your food.

A field of corn in the sunshine. (Noble Gill/Flickr)

A field of corn in the sunshine. (Noble Gill/Flickr)

There’s been soggy weather over much of the country this past weekend, but step back and you’ll find that, for a big part of the West and more, the story has been too much hot and too much dry.

Forty percent of the nation’s farm income comes from seventeen Western states: cattle, sheep, salad greens, dry beans, melons, hops, barley, wheat, potatoes, citrus.

For all that and more, my guest Gary Paul Nabhan is looking at how to adapt for a hotter, drier climate, how to treat our soil and water, how to choose and raise our crops to make it through.

This hour On Point: Farming for living, eating, surviving in a changing climate.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gary Paul Nabhan, agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer. Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona. Author “Growing Food in Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty” and “Desert Terroir: Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands.”

Eugene Takle, professor of atmospheric science and agricultural meteorology and director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State University.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from “Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land” by Gary Paul Nabhan. Copyright 2013 by Gary Paul Nabhan. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Our Coming Food Crisis [OP-ED]: “The most vulnerable crops are those that were already in flower and fruit when temperatures surged, from apricots and barley to wheat and zucchini. Idaho farmers have documented how their potato yields have been knocked back because their heat-stressed plants are not developing their normal number of tubers. Across much of the region, temperatures on the surface of food and forage crops hit 105 degrees, at least 10 degrees higher than the threshold for most temperate-zone crops.”

The Guardian: Climate Change: How A Warming World Is A Threat To Our Food Supplies: “Global warming is exacerbating political instability as tensions brought on by food insecurity rise. With research suggesting the issue can only get worse we examine the risks around the world.”

TIME: Climate Change And Farming: How Not To Go Hungry In A Warmer World: “Warming isn’t the only threat to our ability to feed ourselves — it acts in concert with rising population, the growing demand for grain and water-intensive meat, and the civil dysfunction and conflict that often frustrates poor farmers in the developing world.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 9, 2016

Newly-minted college graduates on the job hunt. We’ll look at who’s hiring, starting salaries, and strategies for landing that first job.

 
Jun 9, 2016

Europe, India and China, are taking on American tech giants over privacy, monopolies, and more. We’ll look at the global technology pushback against the U.S.A.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Jessica Valenti: ‘Objectification Is About Dehumanizing People’
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016

“There is some power in laying claim to the word victim.” — Jessica Valenti on the Stanford sexual assault case, and the importance of language.

More »
Comment
 
Why The ‘Roots’ Remake Matters (And What Stays The Same)
Tuesday, Jun 7, 2016

The recent remake of “Roots” on the History Channel makes important changes, Morehouse College’s Stephane Dunn argues. But it also holds true to the original story.

More »
Comment
 
Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone: ‘Trump’s Going To Be The Next President’
Monday, Jun 6, 2016

Longtime political consultant Roger Stone apologizes for his “two martini tweets,” even as he predicts Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president.

More »
Comment