Great Lakes Pennsylvania Agriculture

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Confront the Challenge
• Climate in the Region
• The Report
• Technical Background
• For Teachers

Explore the Impacts
• Overview
• Migrating Climates
• Water Resources
• Sense of Place

Discover the Solutions
• Overview
• Solutions where we Live
• Reducing our Emissions
• Managing our Response
• Ten Personal Solutions

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Climate Change in Pennsylvania

 

Canvasback
Introduction
Climate Projections
Agriculture
Human Health
Property and Infrastructure
Recreation & Tourism
Water Supply & Pollution
Climate Solutions
Resources & Links
Climate Change Impacts:
Agriculture

Pennsylvania ranks among the top states nationwide in dairy, oats, and fruit production. It is also a top producer of eggs, poultry, livestock, vegetables, soybean, and corn. There are likely to be some positive impacts for agriculture resulting from a warmer climate, although current evidence suggests that the negative consequences could outweigh the positive. In general, however, regional development technological advances, and market fluctuations have as much influence on farming as the climate.

Changes in climate, precipitation cycles, and severe weather will have many affects upon agriculture in Pennsylvania, including:

  • More Favorable Conditions for Some Pests
    Warmer winters and longer freeze-free periods combined with shifts in rainfall, will create more favorable conditions for a number of pests and pathogens.

  • Changes in Crop Yield
    Pennsylvania Farm Increases atmospheric carbon dioxide and nitrogen as well as a longer growing season could boost yields of some crops. However, higher ozone concentrations can damage soybeans and horticultural crops, countering positive impacts of a warmer climate. In addition, severe storms and floods during planting and harvest seasons could decrease crop productivity. Hotter and drier summers and potentially more droughts would hurt crops and may require irrigation of previously rain-fed crops, costing farmers and increasing pressures on water resources.
  • A Decrease in Livestock Productivity
  • High temperatures suppress appetite and decrease weight gain in livestock while warmer winters and less snow cover are predicted to reduce the quantity and quality of spring forage, and thus, milk quality.






Photo Credits:
Canvasback -- National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.
Pennsylvania Farm -- Courtesy of USDA.
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We Need Your Support
to Make Change Happen

We can reduce global warming emissions and ensure communities have the resources they need to withstand the effects of climate change—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.