Assessing the Impact of Changing Climate on Agriculture in Missouri and the use of Crop Insurance as Adaptation Strategy (1980-2010)
Climate change and climate variability affect all sectors of the environment, but agriculture is the most impacted because food production is highly sensitive to weather. The impact of changing climate is evident in the increase in extreme events such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes in the last few decades. General Circulation Model (GCM) projections of future climate show that these extreme events will become more frequent and intense in the coming decades. This study investigates the spatial character of agricultural vulnerability to changing climate in Missouri’s six climate divisions and the use of crop insurance by farmers as a climate adaptation or risk management strategy. Crop insurance plays an important role in the process of adapting to climate change because it serves as a buffer against the impact of increasing extreme events. The study tests the hypothesis that farmers in the most vulnerable climate division will use the most amount of crop insurance. Using the equal weights method of vulnerability assessment, a vulnerability index is obtained and the climate divisions are ranked from most vulnerable to least vulnerable with temperature, rainfall, and crop production as variables. The study reveals that the use of crop insurance as an adaptation strategy by farmers in Missouri is driven primarily by the volume of crop production and not vulnerability to changing climate.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Literature review -- Data and methodology -- Results and discussion -- Conclusion