Climatic Change

, Volume 117, Issue 4, pp 943–950 | Cite as

Climate change beliefs, concerns, and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation among farmers in the Midwestern United States

  • J. Gordon ArbuckleJr.
  • Linda Stalker Prokopy
  • Tonya Haigh
  • Jon Hobbs
  • Tricia Knoot
  • Cody Knutson
  • Adam Loy
  • Amber Saylor Mase
  • Jean McGuire
  • Lois Wright Morton
  • John Tyndall
  • Melissa Widhalm
Letter

Abstract

A February 2012 survey of almost 5,000 farmers across a region of the U.S. that produces more than half of the nation’s corn and soybean revealed that 66 % of farmers believed climate change is occurring (8 % mostly anthropogenic, 33 % equally human and natural, 25 % mostly natural), while 31 % were uncertain and 3.5 % did not believe that climate change is occurring. Results of initial analyses indicate that farmers’ beliefs about climate change and its causes vary considerably, and the relationships between those beliefs, concern about the potential impacts of climate change, and attitudes toward adaptive and mitigative action differ in systematic ways. Farmers who believed that climate change is occurring and attributable to human activity were significantly more likely to express concern about impacts and support adaptive and mitigative action. On the other hand, farmers who attributed climate change to natural causes, were uncertain about whether it is occurring, or did not believe that it is occurring were less concerned, less supportive of adaptation, and much less likely to support government and individual mitigative action. Results suggest that outreach with farmers should account for these covariances in belief, concerns, and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation.

Keywords

Climate Change Supplemental Material Table Mitigative Action Corn Belt Farm Operation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This survey of Midwestern corn producers was developed through a collaboration of two United States Department of Agriculture National Institute for Food and Agriculture-supported projects, Cropping Systems Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP): Climate Change, Mitigation, and Adaptation in Corn-based Cropping Systems (Award No. 2011-68002-30190) and Useful to Usable (U2U): Transforming Climate Variability and Change Information for Cereal Crop Producers (Award No. 2011-68002-30220). Additional funding was provided by the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station, Purdue University College of Agriculture, and the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Supplementary material

10584_2013_707_MOESM1_ESM.doc (416 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 416 KB)

References

  1. Arbuckle JG, Morton LW, Hobbs J (2013) Farmer beliefs and concerns about climate change and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation. Clim Chang. doi: 10.1007/s10584-013-0700-0
  2. Barnes A, Toma L (2012) A typology of dairy farmer perceptions towards climate change. Clim Chang 112:507–522. doi: 10.1007/s10584-011-0226-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Beddington J, Asaduzzaman M, Clark M et al (2012) Achieving food security in the face of climate change: Final report from the commission on sustainable agriculture and climate change. CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Copenhagen, DenmarkGoogle Scholar
  4. Gramig BM, Barnard JB, Prokopy LS (2013) Farmer beliefs about climate change and carbon sequestration incentives. Clim Res. Pre-press abstract available at: http://www.int-res.com/prepress/c01142.html. doi: 10.3354/cr01142
  5. Haden VR, Niles MT, Lubell M, Perlman J, Jackson LE (2012) Global and local concerns: what attitudes and beliefs motivate farmers to mitigate and adapt to climate change? PLoS One 7(12):e52882. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052882 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hatfield JL, Ort D, Thomson AM et al (2011) Climate impacts on agriculture: implications for crop production. Agron J 103:351–370. doi: 10.2134/agronj2010.0303 Google Scholar
  7. Howden SM, Soussana JF, Tubiello FN, Chhetri N, Dunlop M, Meinke H (2007) Adapting agriculture to climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:19691–19696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. IFPRI (2010) Food security, farming, and climate change: Scenarios, results, policy options. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  9. Iowa Climate Change Impacts Committee (ICCIC) (2011) Climate change impacts on Iowa 2010. Office of Energy Independence, Des MoinesGoogle Scholar
  10. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: Synthesis report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, Geneva, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  11. Lal R, Delgado JA, Groffman PM, Millar N, Dell C, Rotz A (2011) Management to mitigate and adapt to climate change. J Soil Water Conservat 66:276–285. doi: 10.2489/jswc.66.4.276 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Maibach E, Roser-Renouf C, Leiserowitz A (2009) Global warming’s six Americas 2009: An audience segmentation analysis. Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  13. McCarl BA (2010) Analysis of climate change implications for agriculture and forestry: an interdisciplinary effort. Clim Chang 100:119–124. doi: 10.1007/s10584-010-9833-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. National Research Council (NRC) (2010) Adapting to the impacts of climate change: America’s climate choices. National Academies Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  15. Rejesus RM (2012) Farmer perceptions and beliefs about climate change: A North Carolina perspective. NC State Economist, March/April 2012Google Scholar
  16. Safi AS, Smith WJ Jr, Liu Z (2012) Rural Nevada and climate change: vulnerability, beliefs and risk perception. Risk Anal 32:1041–1059. doi: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01836.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) (2012) How can my watershed address help me find USGS data? USGS National Water Information System Web site. http://nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov/tutorial/index.html. Accessed 24 Aug 2012
  18. United States Department of Agriculture - Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA-FAS) (2012) 2012: Production, Supply and Distribution Online Database. http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/. Accessed 6 Dec 2012
  19. United States Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) (2009) 2007 Census of Agriculture. U.S. Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Statistics Service. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  20. United States Department of Agriculture - National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) (2011) Crop Production 2010 Summary. http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1047. Accessed 6 Dec 2012
  21. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (1994) Major World Crop Areas and Climatic Profiles, Agricultural Handbook No. 664. Washington, D.C.: World Agricultural Outlook Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.usda.gov/oce/weather/pubs/Other/MWCACP/. Accessed 6 Dec 2012
  22. Weber EU (1997) “Perception and Expectation of Climate Change.” In M. Bazerman, D. Messick, A. Tenbrunsel, and K. Wade-Benzoni (Eds.) Psychological Perspectives to Environmental and Ethical Issues in Management: 314–341, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-BassGoogle Scholar
  23. World Bank (2012) Turn down the heat: Why a 4C warmer world must be avoided. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Gordon ArbuckleJr.
    • 1
  • Linda Stalker Prokopy
    • 2
  • Tonya Haigh
    • 3
  • Jon Hobbs
    • 4
  • Tricia Knoot
    • 5
  • Cody Knutson
    • 3
  • Adam Loy
    • 4
  • Amber Saylor Mase
    • 2
  • Jean McGuire
    • 1
  • Lois Wright Morton
    • 1
  • John Tyndall
    • 6
  • Melissa Widhalm
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forestry and Natural ResourcesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.National Drought Mitigation CenterUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  4. 4.Department of StatisticsIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  5. 5.Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Science ServicesMadisonUSA
  6. 6.Department of Natural Resources Ecology and ManagementIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

Personalised recommendations