Study: Climate change increases crop specialization risks in Midwest

This article discusses how climate change will affect crops and food production.

A new study in which Ortiz-Balboa participated finds that Midwest agriculture is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather shocks because the region has become more reliant on a handful of crops.

The study’s key takeaway: “We find that agriculture is growing more sensitive to climate in Midwestern states for two distinct but compounding reasons: a rising climatic sensitivity of nonirrigated cereal and oilseed crops and a growing specialization in crop production.

“In contrast, other regions specialize in less climate-sensitive production such as irrigated specialty crops or livestock. Results suggest that reducing vulnerability to climate change should consider the role of policies in inducing regional specialization.”

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