Drought conditions in Texas and throughout the U.S. the past decade have not only caused crops to fail, but farmers have had to alter the mix of commodities planted to better adapt to a changing environment.
That could potentially lead to changes in the way grains are transported, according to researchers.
In Texas, traditional portfolios of crops grown are beginning to experience change as a result of the environment, swings in prices paid for individual crops and the supply and demand outlook.
“Cropping shifts have occurred in Texas with additional land moving out of crops into grazing use and possible northward shifts in locations of cotton and sorghum,” said Dr. Bruce McCarl, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Senior Faculty Fellow and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University.
McCarl recently co-authored, “Effects of Climate Change on U.S. Grain Transport,” which was published recently in the journal, Nature Climate Change. The journal article is available online at http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n7/full/nclimate1892.html
“We have also seen a corn acreage increase mainly due to bioenergy demands and high market prices,” he said. “Such developments can be partially linked to climate change issues, given the expressed goals of the renewable fuel standards involved with greenhouse gas emissions reduction.”