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Technology Critical For Farmers Adapting To Climate Change, Says Panel

By Samantha Horton, IPB News | Published on in Agriculture, Science, Weather
Rainfall earlier this year limited many farmers' ability to plant corn and soybeans. This field went unplanted. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)
Rainfall earlier this year limited many farmers' ability to plant corn and soybeans. This field went unplanted. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

This spring’s wet weather and flooding challenged Indiana farmers trying to plant their crops with enough time for them to fully grow. Many delayed planting, some grew no crops at all.

At the second annual Forbes AgTech Summit in Indianapolis, DTN agricultural meteorologist Bryce Anderson says farmers can expect similar weather in future years.

“The prospect of these heavier precept patterns in winter and spring and then drier conditions this summer or during the summer I think are going to stay with us as we continue on,” says Anderson.

While crops are behind compared to previous growing seasons, Anderson is optimistic there won’t be an early freeze until early October. That could give crops more time to fully grow.

However, Anderson and other panelists say technology will be critical to confronting climate change for farmers.

Ceres Solutions agronomist Elizabeth Bower says it will take a variety of solutions from equipment automation to seed treatments that would help crops survive through harsh weather conditions.

“I think it’s going to take all of those things, some of those innovations that think about how can we change that crop just a little bit because of this weather,” says Bower. “So we can still be able to grow the crop we need to feed the world, but we’re still dealing with these weather issues.”

Bower says other solutions to challenges in the agriculture industry include robots that take precise soil samples and can keep working for several hours straight – helping alleviate labor shortages.

Contact Samantha at shorton@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @SamHorton5.