Farmers speak out about severe weather events in ISU poll

AMES — The latest edition of the “Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll” from Iowa State University Extension finds a few shifts in thoughts about climate change.

J. Arbuckle oversees the poll and says they first asked the climate question in 2011, and added it again this past year. “That climate change is due to human activities that was increased from ten percent to 15 percent over that time period. And then let’s see, the climate change is occurring, and equally due to natural human causes went from 35 to 40 percent,” Arbuckle says.

The climate change question has been asked two other times and he says the number of people who believe it is an issue dropped in the recent poll. “In 2013 and 2020, there are actually a greater proportion of farmers expressing belief that climate change is occurring, then did the same in 2023,” he says. ” So there’s been a kind of decline between 2020 and 2023, in that, in that metric, whether or not climate change is happening.”

Arbuckle says no matter what they think, farmers are trying to react. “It doesn’t really matter, necessarily what they attributed to, they know what’s happening and they’ll tell you , extreme weather is happening more frequently, whether it’s drought, or extreme rains, and so forth,” Arbuckle says. “And many of them are making changes in their, in their operations in response to changing weather.”

Arbuckle says complementary research to survey finds the same reaction from farmers. “Most farmers are concerned about increasingly extreme weather, and the other potential impacts that come along with that, like, you know, disease, and pests, and so forth, and then making decisions to try to adapt,” he says. .

You can see the complete 2023 poll and past polls on the Iowa State University Extension website.