A new study ,which analyses data on changes in weather and agricultural production in different countries estimates, that the effects of warmer temperatures has lead to a 20% increase in global prices for maize and wheat. The debate on the factors responsible for these changes may continue but the impact of changing climate patterns is already evident to farmers. In the Midwest, farmers are already investing in machinery, seeds and farm practices that will help them deal with the short term variations in weather. More efforts are required to develop crops that can with stand the long term trend of global warming. It is estimated that a 1 degree Celsius rise in temperature causes a 10 percent fall in crop yield. How will the 2012 Farm Bill provide for these challenges? Funds are required for research into creating strains of crops that will be able to withstand excess heat and flooding, for conservation of existing resources and also for providing counter cyclical insurance to farmers as they grapple with uncertain weather conditions. There needs to be a recognition of the problem and also an openness to scientific methods which can help us face this challenge. In the current economic conditions, obstacles are to be expected.
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