NationNational PoliticsPolitics Now

USDA to open sites to help farmers, ranchers cope with climate change

AgricultureTom VilsackEnvironmental IssuesConservationU.S. Department of AgricultureEcosystems

WASHINGTON--The Obama administration has selected the locations for seven new regional centers that will help farmers and ranchers adjust to the increasing risks and extreme weather associated with climate change.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will announce the sites Wednesday, according to a White House official. President Obama unveiled the  program this summer as part of his broader plan to address global warming.

The centers, which the Agriculture Department calls climate hubs, will link local agriculture producers with universities, industry groups, state governments and federal agencies such as the Department of Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The goal is to  help producers better anticipate and adapt to the increasing risk of fire, pests, flooding and droughts connected with climate change, according to an official, who would not be named discussing the plans before the formal announcement. 

PHOTOS: Politics in 2014

The climate hubs will be located in Ames, Iowa; Durham, N.H.; Raleigh, N.C.; Fort Collins, Colo.; El Reno, Okla.; Corvallis, Ore.; and Las Cruces, N.M.. Three “sub-hubs” focused on narrower issues related to specific crops will be established in Houghton, Mich.; Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; and Davis, Calif. They were chosen though a competition organized by the USDA.

In a statement set for release Wednesday, Vilsack noted that farmers already were seeing the impact of shifts in the climate. 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.

“For generations, America's farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have innovated and adapted to challenges,” Vilsack said in the statement.

The climate hub program is “part of our broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate."  

kathleen.hennessey@latimes.com

Twitter: @khennessey

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
AgricultureTom VilsackEnvironmental IssuesConservationU.S. Department of AgricultureEcosystems
  • USDA 'climate hubs'
    USDA 'climate hubs'

    Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Wednesday will formally announce the plan to establish seven 'climate hubs' around the country to help farmers and ranchers adapt to the impact of global warming.

  • 2014: The year in news
    2014: The year in news

    Tragedy in Roswell, N.M., a contaminated water supply in West Virginia and the beginning of statewide legal marijuana experiments: These are the stories and images that have captivated the nation in 2014. Read more: 2014's best political photography.

  • The year in U.S. weather

    Polar vortexes, lengthy droughts and sudden snowstorms have already hit various parts of the nation, barely a month into 2014, leaving people alternatively parched for water or buried beneath snow. Read more: Winter storm slams South, stranding students, snarling traffic.

  • Republican Party wing creates 18 fake websites for Democrats
    Republican Party wing creates 18 fake websites for Democrats

    If you support Democratic Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s bid for reelection, stay away from annkirkpatrick.com. The site might greet visitors with a welcoming photo of the Arizona congresswoman and a screaming “Kirkpatrick for Congress” logo, but that design belies its true agenda.

  • Senators want power plants secured
    Senators want power plants secured

    WASHINGTON -- Alarmed by the shooting attack on a Silicon Valley-area power station last spring, several senators called on regulators to review security operations at electrical utilities and consider imposing new rules to protect against future attacks.

  • Obama touts, signs bipartisan farm bill in trip to Michigan
    Obama touts, signs bipartisan farm bill in trip to Michigan

    EAST LANSING, Mich. – Keen to not let a rare legislative accomplishment go unnoticed, President Obama jetted to an agricultural research hub in Michigan on Friday to sign into law a long-delayed farm bill and tout the importance of rural America to the economy.

  • Christie Texas trip highlights damage of bridge scandal
    Christie Texas trip highlights damage of bridge scandal

    For the first time in two decades, Texas is electing itself a new governor, making the contest — featuring liberal heroine Wendy Davis — one of the marquee races of this election year.

  • 2014's political moments
    2014's political moments

    Including battles between Congress and the White House, as well as over gay marriage and road closures in New Jersey, these are the moments that capture the politics of 2014.

Comments
Loading