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LA Ag Commissioner Strain Says Global Warming Hurts Agriculture

Sugar cane hasvest plantation aerial
Mailson Pignata/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sugar cane hasvest plantation aerial

LA AG COMMISH ON CLIMATE— High fuel prices, rising food prices, gas and oil production, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, labor shortages, and climate change were highlights of Louisiana's Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain’s discussion before the Baton Rouge Press Club earlier this week. Strain said all these things are related to driving marketplace prices but a key takeaway was when Strain said rising global temperatures could damage crop production to meet growing demands. He pointed out that when the planet began warming up, at first it helped the ag industry grow more crops but he added that if temperatures continue to rise, it will have the opposite effect.

"Climate change is real. We benefitted in the last 100 years by slightly increasing temperature increased production but now we're on the other side where the increases in temperatures will decrease production in plants and in animals," Strain said.

Strain said the solution is reducing greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere and newer carbon capture technologies along with old-fashioned agriculture are ways to do that.

"Our forests already sequester 18% to 20% of all the carbon produced. But agriculture is the key. Keep it green right?" Strain said. "Keep it green, natural sequestration and we're going to be working with our industries to do that; to pull back on the amount of Co2. Try to get a handle on this. We cannot allow the planet to increase another 2 degrees in the next 100 years."

Louisiana Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain spoke before the Baton Rouge Press Club on how climate change will affect agriculture production.
Courtesy: LPB
Louisiana Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain spoke before the Baton Rouge Press Club on how climate change will affect agriculture production.

Some environmental groups have called carbon capture a “false solution.” But the technology is gaining support. The United Nations says carbon capture has to be part of the solution in reducing Co2 in the atmosphere, but the effort is not improving as fast as non-fossil fuel energy sources solar and wind energy, and electricity storage. Louisiana is expanding carbon capture projects, CLECO power company recently announced it is investing $900 million in a huge carbon-capture facility in Central Louisiana.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.