90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Farming In Hotter Climates

We examine what a hotter, drier climate may mean for American agriculture and your food.

A field of corn in the sunshine. (Noble Gill/Flickr)

A field of corn in the sunshine. (Noble Gill/Flickr)

There’s been soggy weather over much of the country this past weekend, but step back and you’ll find that, for a big part of the West and more, the story has been too much hot and too much dry.

Forty percent of the nation’s farm income comes from seventeen Western states: cattle, sheep, salad greens, dry beans, melons, hops, barley, wheat, potatoes, citrus.

For all that and more, my guest Gary Paul Nabhan is looking at how to adapt for a hotter, drier climate, how to treat our soil and water, how to choose and raise our crops to make it through.

This hour On Point: Farming for living, eating, surviving in a changing climate.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gary Paul Nabhan, agricultural ecologist, ethnobotanist and writer. Research Social Scientist at the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona. Author “Growing Food in Hotter, Drier Land: Lessons from Desert Farmers on Adapting to Climate Uncertainty” and “Desert Terroir: Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands.”

Eugene Takle, professor of atmospheric science and agricultural meteorology and director of the Climate Science Program at Iowa State University.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from “Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land” by Gary Paul Nabhan. Copyright 2013 by Gary Paul Nabhan. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher, Chelsea Green Publishing.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: Our Coming Food Crisis [OP-ED]: “The most vulnerable crops are those that were already in flower and fruit when temperatures surged, from apricots and barley to wheat and zucchini. Idaho farmers have documented how their potato yields have been knocked back because their heat-stressed plants are not developing their normal number of tubers. Across much of the region, temperatures on the surface of food and forage crops hit 105 degrees, at least 10 degrees higher than the threshold for most temperate-zone crops.”

The Guardian: Climate Change: How A Warming World Is A Threat To Our Food Supplies: “Global warming is exacerbating political instability as tensions brought on by food insecurity rise. With research suggesting the issue can only get worse we examine the risks around the world.”

TIME: Climate Change And Farming: How Not To Go Hungry In A Warmer World: “Warming isn’t the only threat to our ability to feed ourselves — it acts in concert with rising population, the growing demand for grain and water-intensive meat, and the civil dysfunction and conflict that often frustrates poor farmers in the developing world.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 20, 2015
A member of a bomb squad pulls something off of a small helicopter and throws it after a man landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, April 15, 2015.  A Florida postal carrier named Doug Hughes took responsibility for the stunt on a website where he said he was delivering letters to all 535 members of Congress in order to draw attention to campaign finance corruption. (AP)

We’ll take up the gyrocopter pilot’s complaint. Big money politics in America, on the road to 2016. And what to do about it.

Apr 20, 2015
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 17, 2015
The members of all-female mariachi band Flor de Toloache (Courtesy the Artist).

An all-female band takes mariachi to old places and new. We’ll talk with the women of Flor de Toloache.

 
Apr 17, 2015
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio waves to supporters as his wife Jeanette joins him on stage, after he announced that he will be running for the Republican presidential nomination, during a rally at the Freedom Tower, Monday, April 13, 2015, in Miami. (AP)

Hillary and Rubio, in for 2016. Congress, in on the Iran Deal. And a Gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Three LIVE Tracks From Flor De Toloache
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Fantastic live tracks from the amazing women of Flor de Toloache.

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 17, 2015
Friday, Apr 17, 2015

Interactions on Facebook, campaign time begins and a truck full of bees.

More »
2 Comments
 
Parents Speak Out On Autism Care ‘Cliff’
Thursday, Apr 16, 2015

Stories of autism care for adults from our callers and, maybe, from you, too.

More »
4 Comments