90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Great Greening Of The Global North

The fall crop is in, harvested. But the map of what we grow, where, is changing, with climate change. We’ll look at the new map of North American food production.

In this Aug. 19, 2008 file photo, a combine cuts durum wheat near an oil well in Tioga, N.D. The federal Agriculture Department has revised its estimates of North Dakota wheat production, though the changes are small. The Agriculture Department in late October 2013 re-contacted farmers who still had crop in the field when surveys were done for the annual late-September small grains summary. North Dakota leads the nation in the production of both spring wheat and durum wheat.  (AP)

In this Aug. 19, 2008 file photo, a combine cuts durum wheat near an oil well in Tioga, N.D. The federal Agriculture Department has revised its estimates of North Dakota wheat production, though the changes are small. The Agriculture Department in late October 2013 re-contacted farmers who still had crop in the field when surveys were done for the annual late-September small grains summary. North Dakota leads the nation in the production of both spring wheat and durum wheat. (AP)

Look at a crop map of North America over the years and you’ll see there is a great migration going on in food production.  Crops heading north.  Corn and beans – soybeans – marching north toward the Canadian border and spilling over it into brand new territory.  It’s about plant genetics and farming technique.  It’s also about climate change.  A southern tier turning too hot and dry.  A northern planting season getting longer, more welcoming.  Crop production moving.  How far can it, will it go?  Up next On Point: the new map of North American food production, pushing north with climate change.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

David Lobell, professor in environmental Earth system science at Stanford University. Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. (@DavidBLobell)

Wolfam Schlenker, professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Donn Teske, farmer, president of the Kansas Farmers Union.

Woody Barth, farmer, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Some crops migrate north with warmer temperatures — “North Dakota is at the leading edge of a shift in North American weather patterns, with more variable weather and rainfall; longer, hotter summers; and warmer winters. USA TODAY visited the state as the seventh stop in its look at how climate change is impacting the way Americans work, live and play. In the town of Rugby, N.D., 50 miles south of the Canadian border, climate change is written in the fields. Where once wheat was king, field after field is now full of feed corn. At the beginning of September, farmers are hustling to get combines out to cut the golden wheat but green fields of corn are everywhere — and still a month from harvest.”

New York Times: A Jolt to Complacency on Food Supply — “This may be the greatest single fear about global warming: that climate change could so destabilize the world’s food system as to lead to rising hunger or even mass starvation. Two weeks ago, a leaked draft of a report by the United Nations climate committee, known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggested that the group’s concerns have grown, and that the report, scheduled for release in March in Yokohama, Japan, is likely to contain a sharp warning about risks to the food supply.”

Mother Jones: Climate Change Is Already Shrinking Crop Yields — “Of course, we can’t tie any individual heat wave to long-term climate trends—there’s plenty of random weather variation even in times of climate stability. But we do know that hot, dry weather can stunt plant growth and reduce yields—and we also know that we can expect more hot, dry weather in key growing regions as the climate warms up.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 28, 2014
Kaname Hayashi, a project leader of Humanoid Robots "Pepper," talks with the robot at SoftBank Mobile shop in Tokyo, Friday, June 6, 2014. The cooing, gesturing humanoid on wheels that can decipher emotions has been unveiled in Japan by billionaire Masayoshi Son who says robots should be tender and make people smile. (AP)

Robot love, robot work, “killer robots” – we get the latest on robots moving deeper into life.

Nov 28, 2014
Poet Malcolm London. (Courtesy Malcolm London)

From Chicago, a young, new poet gives voice to one of America’s great cities, and its tough streets. Malcolm London joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 27, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

 
Nov 27, 2014
On Point host Tom Ashbrook raises a toast with a glass of fresh apple cider in the On Point studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

All about hard cider. It’s all over these days. And sweet, fresh apple cider, too. We’ll look at the history and comeback.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
1 Comment