Climate change identified as key market influencer


Farmscape for January 15, 2020

J.P. Gervias – Farm Credit Canada

Full Interview 15:23Listen

The Chief Agricultural Economist with Farm Credit Canada encourages agriculture sector stakeholders to consider climate change as they formulate risk management strategies for 2020. Farm Credit Canada has identified climate change as one of the three key forces that have the potential to disrupt the global economy and shape Canada’s agriculture and food industry outlook in 2020. J.P. Gervais, FCC’s Chief Agricultural Economist, says considering the impact of weather on agriculture world wide it should come as no surprise that climate would be identified as a major disruptor.

Clip-J.P. GervaisFarm Credit Canada:
Climate has a number of different implications for our Canadian farms. In a way you can have a longer growing season so that can lead producers to consider different crops. You’ve seen some crops in the prairies gaining some acreage where as we’ve seen other crops, their acres go down. I do think that producers are making the adjustments in terms of what they can grow based on weather. That’s more long term, where you can incrementally consider new crops where as in the short term I really do think that this is all about risk management and making sure that you have the right protection in place. There’s no doubt that there will be opportunities and risk, depending on crops vursus livestock and so forth. 2019 was a, quote unquote, special year in that sense when it comes to agriculture. Coast to coast we’ve had issues in Canada when it comes to climate.
We had flooding in central Canada, we had dry conditions in the prairies and a delayed harvest and challenging harvesting conditions as well on the prairies, hurricanes in the Atlantic and so forth. Weather can change a little bit of the outlook for the different production sectors that we have in Canadian ag and I do expect producers to react and mitigate some of the impacts that climate can bring.

Gervais suggests, when it comes to climate, the number one thing is to assess the risk management plan on your own farm in terms of production and determine whether any adjustments should be made to that plan.

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Bruce Cochrane.

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