Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities
Researchers at the University of Connecticut are studying the impact of changing climatic conditions on dairy farm productivity in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a major dairy-producing area where winters are typically very cold and snowy and summers are hot and humid. According to the researchers, the state is an ideal geographical region for examining the effects of a range of climatic factors on dairy production. The study identiﬁed the effects of temperature and precipitation, both jointly and separately, on milk output. The analysis showed that increasing temperature in summer or in autumn is harmful for dairy production, whereas warmer winters and warmer springs are beneﬁcial. In contrast, the study showed that more precipitation had a consistent adverse effect on dairy productivity. Overall, the analysis showed that over the past 17 years, changes in climatic conditions have had a negative effect on Wisconsin dairy farms. Alternative scenarios predict that climate change would lead to a 5 to 11 percent reduction in dairy production per year between 2020 and 2039 after controlling for other factors.
NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2015 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.