Arkansas Farmers Face New Challenges with Climate Change

by Jan Cottingham  on Monday, Mar. 18, 2013 12:00 am  

From “Climate Change & Agriculture in the United States: Effects & Adaptation”:

“Climate change poses unprecedented challenges to U.S. agriculture because of the sensitivity of agricultural productivity and costs to changing climate conditions. Adaptive action offers the potential to manage the effects of climate change by altering patterns of agricultural activity to capitalize on emerging opportunities while minimizing the costs associated with negative effects.”

Translated from bureaucratese, that says: “We think climate change is real. How can we minimize costs and maximize profits?”

Marty Matlock of the University of Arkansas doesn’t think the question is frivolous.

“It’s a good question and that’s what farmers ought to be looking at. I think it’s a very valuable story to tell. In order to be a competitive farmer today, you’d better understand your environment and how it’s changing. And that’s the economic environment and that’s the production environment. You better understand both and how they’re changing or you’ll be outcompeted and out of business.”

Top U.S. Agricultural Exports in 2011
Soybeans far outpaced the value of other top farming exports from the United States, standing at $20.3 billion, with corn coming in at $12.9 billion and wheat at $11.5 billion.

Soybeans $20,347,317,208
Corn $12,903,604,236
Wheat Unmilled $11,477,204,419
Cotton Ex Linters $8,861,356,654
Other Feeds & Fodder $5,486,053,783
Beef & Veal Fr/Froz $4,387,315,343
Pork Fr/Froz $4,266,308,341
Misc Hort Products $4,079,909,279
Chickens Fr/Froz $3,348,722,320
Soybean Meal $3,341,173,322
Other Grain Prods $3,135,381,498
Almonds $2,670,069,077
Rice-Paddy Milled $2,096,410,318
Soybean Oil $1,732,970,324
Other Veg Oils/Waxes $1,732,735,395
Related Sugar Prod $1,599,701,798
Essential Oils $1,479,155,219
Nonfat Dry Milk $1,451,990,267
Seeds Field/Garden $1,354,074,918
Other Dairy Prods $1,335,177,127
Other Veg Prep/Pres $1,288,893,350
Wine $1,229,833,343
Beverages Ex Juice $1,228,614,393
Chocolate & Prep $1,152,045,508
Bovine Hides Whole $1,089,536,141



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