What is the climate change impact on local agriculture?

One local farmer says farmers have been taking steps to protect and reduce their impact on the earth before everyone else.

Posted: Feb 19, 2020 6:20 PM

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.

LINK | 'THERE'S NOTHING NEW ABOUT THE CLIMATE CHANGING..' WHAT MAKES THE RECENT WARM-UP DIFFERENT?

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.

LINK | THE SCIENCE OF GREENHOUSE GASES

"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.

Terre Haute
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 55°
Robinson
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 49°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 51°
Paris
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 53°
Mattoon/Charleston
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 53°
Terre Haute
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 55°
Terre Haute
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 55°
Mix of clouds and sun with afternoon showers.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

12 points revitalization

Image

vigo county fishing event

Image

sick little girl

Image

isu bees campus

Image

cat adoption event

Image

swamp stomp

Image

Saturday Evening Forecast

Image

DNR VOLUNTEER WEEK

Image

DARWIN ROAD CLEANUP

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1299475

Reported Deaths: 23945
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook5206429819
DuPage862251249
Will71644962
Lake64454965
Kane55454753
Winnebago30947458
Madison29795514
St. Clair27122502
McHenry26929278
Peoria21093279
Champaign19731137
Sangamon17709229
McLean16818169
Tazewell15859256
Rock Island14240303
Kankakee13480196
Kendall1229490
LaSalle11739231
Macon10214190
DeKalb9262118
Vermilion9052127
Adams8189117
Williamson7203126
Whiteside6846163
Boone636571
Ogle575078
Clinton569890
Grundy560471
Coles552094
Knox5303137
Jackson484863
Henry470563
Effingham467671
Macoupin458881
Livingston458383
Stephenson451180
Marion4408115
Woodford438862
Franklin432870
Monroe431090
Jefferson4153119
Randolph409284
Lee395651
Morgan376079
Montgomery364273
Logan363456
Fulton362450
Bureau352981
Christian351172
Fayette313554
Perry312959
Iroquois290364
Jersey261549
McDonough257143
Douglas254435
Saline249653
Lawrence239125
Shelby224437
Union222940
Crawford209025
Bond197224
Cass194624
Pike176551
Jo Daviess175924
Clark175732
Warren173346
Wayne173051
Hancock172630
Richland171340
Carroll170936
Ford169646
Edgar166439
White166126
Washington162725
Moultrie156626
Clay147243
Greene142432
Piatt141514
Mason141441
Johnson139214
De Witt138423
Mercer135233
Wabash134212
Massac131039
Cumberland127919
Menard118612
Jasper114317
Marshall98617
Hamilton82315
Schuyler7015
Brown6876
Pulaski6807
Stark60723
Edwards55212
Henderson52014
Calhoun5082
Scott4671
Alexander46211
Gallatin4534
Putnam4433
Hardin36612
Pope3053
Out of IL40
Unassigned02292

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 707111

Reported Deaths: 13216
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion963501718
Lake51613944
Allen39106671
Hamilton34449405
St. Joseph33979539
Elkhart27255432
Vanderburgh22060394
Tippecanoe21765212
Porter17945298
Johnson17507374
Hendricks16786310
Clark12681190
Madison12338337
Vigo12204244
Monroe11443166
LaPorte11118204
Delaware10341184
Howard9652211
Kosciusko9114114
Hancock7964139
Bartholomew7880155
Warrick7681155
Floyd7555176
Wayne6895198
Grant6837171
Boone6541100
Morgan6390138
Dubois6079117
Marshall5779108
Dearborn569876
Cass5683102
Henry5572100
Noble540683
Jackson493069
Shelby478495
Lawrence4338118
Gibson427989
Harrison427670
Clinton418653
Montgomery417786
DeKalb409184
Huntington378680
Whitley377939
Miami372465
Knox365989
Steuben364457
Putnam352560
Jasper350146
Wabash347678
Adams337952
Ripley334568
Jefferson312980
White308154
Daviess289299
Wells286281
Decatur278792
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268533
Scott261053
Clay253244
LaGrange252470
Randolph235280
Washington230731
Spencer227631
Jennings224747
Fountain208445
Sullivan207742
Starke203952
Owen192156
Fulton191439
Jay186029
Carroll185720
Perry180236
Orange177253
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130234
Pulaski113645
Newton103534
Brown100040
Crawford97614
Benton96713
Martin82615
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55711
Unassigned0408