"It's a reflection of the changing weather patterns that will indeed impact and affect crop production, livestock production," Vilsack told reporters. The new "climate hubs," he said, will help producers take steps to "mitigate the impacts and effects of climate change as well as adapt to new ways of agriculture."
The hubs will be in Ames, Iowa; Corvallis, Ore.;
Vilsack said Davis, in a rain-parched state, would research the effects of drought.
The sites were chosen in a competition organized by the
The centers will link agriculture producers with universities, industry groups, state governments and federal agencies, such as the
Officials had no precise price tag for the hubs. Vilsack said the effort would largely involve reorganizing existing employees and resources, "charging them with a new responsibility." The work will be in addition to $120 million set aside for climate-related research in the newly passed farm bill, he said.
President Obama unveiled the climate hub program last summer as part of his plan to address global warming. Administration officials said there was clear evidence that climate change already was affecting agriculture. The growing season in the Midwest is almost two weeks longer than it was in 1950, and fire season is two months longer than it was 30 years ago, according to the USDA.