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The impact of climate change on farming

Climate change, which authorities now agree is a real concern, has a direct impact on agriculture. As a farmer, you are probably already dealing with various issues related to climate change. Inevitably, climate change also impacts your insurance.

Here is a brief overview of the situation as well as the challenges that farmers will face in coming years.

Rising temperatures

The Ouranos research consortium states that temperatures have risen by 1 to 3°C in Quebec between 1950 and 2011. Researchers say this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Anne Blondot is an agronomist and coordinator of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Commercial Aquaculture program at Ouranos. She cites the example of the summer 2018 drought, arguing that such a situation will eventually become commonplace in Quebec.

More heat, less water

Warmer summers, sure, but also earlier springs and later autumns. This situation could have positive outcomes: an extended farming season, increased productivity and the emergence of new crops. However, water management could also be affected.

Indeed, it is expected that rainfall will be more intense at times, followed by periods of drought. The impact of climate change on farming may result in water shortages, but also an increase in the number of pests and parasites.

This will affect crops as well as livestock. Farm animals are likely to suffer from heat stress.

The impact of climate change on agriculture: looking for solutions

All levels of government are closely monitoring the situation and various initiatives are being implemented. Prevention, new perspectives on resource management, development of new technologies: efforts are being deployed around the world. Canada and Quebec are no exception.

However, in the short term, these efforts will not change the impact of climate change on farming. That’s why you need to start thinking about protecting your crops and livestock today.

Do you want to be part of the solution? Holos is a free agricultural modeling software that allows you to assess greenhouse gas emissions. Farmers who decide to use this software can share their thoughts and comments by emailing Holos@agr.gc.ca.

Concerned? Contact one of our brokers to discuss and explore options for the issues you are facing.

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