Survey: Farmers aren't sure about validity of climate change

05/09/2014 10:23:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

climate change iconAsk a grower about climate change, and many aren't so sure a problem exists.

A recent survey of growers in four states shows that farmers don't readily accept the concept of climate change or the science behind it, according to a news release. They also have problems believing crop yields will suffer because of climate change.

The survey, led by North Carolina State University economist Roderick Rejesus, polled 1,300 farmers in four states—North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and Wisconsin.

They were asked questions about climate change and its effects. In addition they were asked what they would do in the future if climate change brought extreme weather.

Only about a quarter of respondents in three of the states agreed or strongly agreed that climate change had been scientifically proven.

North Carolina growers were more apt to agree or strongly agree with the statement, with 36 eprcent affirming climate change and the science behind it.

Many farmers in each state agreed or strongly agreed that human activities were causing climate change. But they were outweighed by growers who had no opinion, who disagreed or who strongly disagreed.

A large percentage of respondents—21 percent to 31 percent—had no opinion on the questions about climate change and human influence.

A majority of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that normal weather cycles explain most of the recent climate changes.

About 70 percent of those surveyed said climate change would have little effect on production with 5 percent or less increase or decrease in crop yields.

The study appears in the "Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics."



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