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Wed May 28, 2008
Ag report shows grim future
By Peter O'Dowd
Laramie, Wyo. – The U-S Department of Agriculture issued a report on climate change Tuesday that paints a bleak future for crops and livestock.
A top agriculture official in Wyoming says the long-term effect of a warmer climate could force major adjustments.
Thirty-eight scientists collaborated on the report. They say a warmer climate is already increasing the risk of crop failure, decreasing water resources and crimping livestock productivity.
Wyoming Department of Agriculture Director John Etchepare says his department is well aware of the problem.
"This has sort of become the topic of the hour," Etchepare says.
Etchepare says the entire industry may have to change its practices.
"If you're used to turning your cattle out at a certain time, you may have to do it differently."
Meanwhile, to get a handle on this, Etchepare says the state will hold a climate workshop in June. The heads of state agencies will discuss how climate change is changing Wyoming grasslands, wildlife behavior, fisheries and forests.