CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Dwight Ludwig has been farming in the Wabash Valley for several years.
He says climate change has gone largely unnoticed in the local agriculture industry.
"I can't really say over my career so far I've noticed a change," Ludwig says.
Local farmers have to be experts on Wabash Valley weather. Their careers depend on it. Weather and climate are two different things but he says if climate change is impacting our area it's getting lost in the normal ever-changing Indiana weather patterns.
"Seems like you have a winter like this where temperatures are a little more mild and a little warmer and think 'maybe it is warming up somewhat' but then next winter you could end up with 3 or 4 feet of snow," Ludwig says.
Experts say climate change has the potential to change growing seasons for many locations on Earth. What about here in Illinois and Indiana?
"You know as far as changing crops goes I don't see that. It would be a long time before that ever happened but you know we could move to a longer growing season" Ludwig says.
Experts also say climate change will increase the severity of flooding and drought.
"If there is more flooding that will really impact our operation. If water levels come up it will definitely cause a problem and drought is always a problem" Ludwig says.
The general public is becoming increasingly aware of the potential threat of climate change. Dwight says farmers have been taking steps to protect and reduce their impact on the earth before everyone else.
"Farmers were 'green' before green was 'green.' All our equipment has new emissions stuff on it and has cleaner air coming out of it," he says.
Ludwig gave News 10 a close-up look of one of his tractors and described the changes made to reduce carbon emissions. We asked him how he thinks tractors will continue to change in the future due to the perceived threat of climate change.
"Fuel economy is just going to have to keep increasing. Emissions are going to be cleaned up even more. I don't know how they can do it even more but of course, there's the big push towards electric stuff" Ludwig says.
Ludwig says farmers have made changes beyond their vehicles to reduce their impact on the earth.
"We are limiting the use of fertilizers and chemicals and we've been doing that a long time," Ludwig says.
Farmers say public awareness over the potential impact of climate change has created a demand for "green" products from farmers. He says even locally customers want to know agriculture products have had little impact on the environment. Ludwig says local farmers do everything they can to protect the air and water of the Wabash Valley.
"Every chance we get push that out. We are trying to do things right and safely and our children drink the same water as their children" Ludwig says.
Ultimately Ludwig says many local farmers are not concerned with the long term impacts of climate change. He says the effect of potentially changing climate will be minimal to our region for now. Ludwig says change is a constant in his career and area farmers are ready.
"The agriculture industry is pretty resilient. We will keep changing with the changing times So if climate change does start to affect us we will change to meet whatever it is we need to" Ludwig says.