Farmers are used to adjusting for weather, but some are adjusting for climate change by planting a variety of crops, sowing cover crops and leaving land unplowed. Many small farmers fear adjusting to climate change will add more regulations to their already declining bottom line. But others, such as sixth-generation farmer Wade Dooley, say more erratic and extreme weather events related to climate change mean farmers need to adopt mitigation strategies.
Some farmers and landowners are adopting conservation practices that include farm ponds, wetlands, oxbows and buffers, and structural improvements to reduce anticipated flood impacts.
Katie Rock, policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, said when talking to Iowa farmers, it’s increasingly clear that many want to innovate on their farms to address climate change.
Matt Russell is executive director of the state’s Interfaith Power and Light. He believes Iowa and other Midwest states that provide America’s food are in a position to lead the conversation on climate change.
He said to deal with a changing climate, government policy makers will need to not only encourage maximum yields, but also incentivize carbon farming.