Cows in barn

ACSF Faculty Fellow David Wolfe (HORT) talked to National Geographic about foods that will be increasingly difficult to farm in a changing climate 

Five Foods That Will Be Harder to Grow in a Warmer World

April 16, 2014

Cows in barn

ACSF Faculty Fellow David Wolfe (HORT) talked to National Geographic about foods that will be increasingly difficult to farm in a changing climate. Nat Geo identified five “bellwether foods”—avocados, almonds, grapes, milk, and tree fruits—likely to pose serious future challenges to the world’s farms, ranches, and orchards.

Some crops will be easier to grow in a warmer world, but as the recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted, climate change’s negatives for food production will far outweigh any advantages. Wolfe reflected on the changes we can expect to see:

No particular crops are likely to disappear any time soon, says David Wolfe, professor of horticulture at Cornell University. . . . Still, he predicts that farmers of the near future will likely have to take increasingly drastic and expensive measures to cope with epic droughts, summer heat, rogue frosts, and ever-changing growing seasons.

“If it was as simple as gradual warming, farmers could plant around it,” he says. “But as this global experiment has been playing out, farmers are seeing things they've never seen before.” As a result, he says, “millions of Americans are going to have a harder time affording a good, nutritious diet.”

Read more in the National Geographic.